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The Mystique of Mustique

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The old saying it never rains, but it pours seems particularly true about royal news.  The Mail reports that Pippa and her parents attended a party at The Goring that highlighted the opening of a bar that is a twist on the famous Basil's Bar on Mustique that the Middletons frequent when they vacation on that island in the West Indies.  The original Basil's Bar  is "perched on stilts over the Caribbean Sea" and has been around since 1976.  The Bar prides itself on it's fantastic tropical cocktails, impressive wine collection, and the sweeping mix of people that makes the flavor of the party life more interesting.  The bar is named after the barman, Basil, whose story is fairly fascinating.

Basil Charles grew up on the island of St. Vincent, next to Mustique, and was injured in a motorcycle accident when he was young that left him in recovery for over a year.  When he finally was up and around again he moved over to the newly developing island of Mustique to see what opportunities might await.  Basil met Colin Tennant, the recently deceased Lord Glenconner, who was developing the land.  Tennant gave Basil the job of barman in the only hotel on the island, Cotton House, where Basil was a tremendous success.  Eventually Tennant opened a stand alone bar right on the ocean in which Basil could work his magic and named the bar in honor of its proprieter, Basil's.  Basil's personal life would probably be a book on its own, but to stay to the story of the bar, in 1981 several patrons, including Princess Margaret's son, tried to buy the bar and convert it to a private club to keep the riffraff out.  Basil won out and now owns the establishment keeping the the friendly doors open to all.  (When the time came in 2011 to decide who would receive a coveted invitation to Kate and William's royal wedding, Basil Charles made the cut.)

Basil Charles

The interesting post script to this story is that in 2009 it was widely reported that Basil was planning to write a memoir of the island and her many famous visitors that he promised would be sensational.  Mustique is privately owned and paparazzi are not allowed which enables visitors to fully relax away from the eyes of the world.  Given the extreme privacy of the island, the idea of a tell-all book was fairly revolutionary.  As of today, though, I cannot find any news on a book whatsoever.  I wonder if he is still writing the many antics, or if his idea was squashed by the powers that be.  All together, the potent concoction of West Indies natural beauty, the extreme privacy and peace of this particular island, and the stories of the people who live there, give Mustique the extra edge of mystique over other tropical islands.

Basil also lists a branch on St. Vincent as well, so the fun isn't limited to Mustique and now it is crossing the Atlantic to spice up the London night life.  The Goring Hotel has now opened what they term "The Beach Bar" and flew Basil Charles in for several weeks to have him personally teach the bartenders at the hotel how to make his famous concoctions.  The bar is in the garden of the hotel and will close in September.

The Middletons attended the party where the theme was appropriately beach, but Pippa didn't dress down too much.  She wore a beige based dress with colored stitching of tropical flowers and added a pop of color with her light purple sweater.  Both Middleton women were wearing nude heels that bore a striking resemblance to those worn by the Duchess of Cambridge at Saturday's derby.  Since the Middleton girls often shop together, and all three have very similar tastes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were the same!

Pippa at the Goring.  Photo from Daily Mail.

The photo of Carole Middleton reminds me of an article I once read that pointed out knees and elbows are the two areas that show a woman's age, no matter how perfectly in shape she is, nevertheless, these photos just highlight how fit Carole remains.  She looked fabulous as is almost always usual.  Well done, Middletons!

Michael and Carole Middleton. Photo from The Daily Mail.

In other Pippa news, she apparently lost out on the "Rear of the Year" award.  As far as I am concerned she dodged a bullet.  In the list of awards that one could potentially hold as the sister-in-law of the future King of England, that award would certainly place as one grossly lacking in taste.

Also creating much hubbub, is the story that William and Kate are looking for staff afterall.  None of this comes as any surprise.  For one, there will be no staff at their home in Anglesey, where they can continue the life of any normal couple, and secondly, it stands to reason that they will need help in their London base.  The reports are at times quite conflicting, but as of this moment it seems they are only advertising for a housekeeper type position and certainly not a dresser who would pick what the Duchess wears for any given occasion.  Kate's style sense is so strong, I cannot imagine there ever being a time when she does not make the wardrobe call. 

Links for today's stories:
Middleton's at the Goring.  Daily Mail
Kate Hacked?!  Daily Mail
Pippa At Lunch on June 8th. Celebrity Gossip


  1. Love the post, it's always fun to see how the Middletons are spending time. However.... am I the only one who thinks Carole's dress is too short? Perhaps I'm just too conservative. And I'm with you on the stroke of luck that Pippa didn't "win" (ahem) the contest.

    Sending you a smile,

  2. WKW! I would say yes regarding Carole's dress, but there seems to be some wind and from what I can see, I think that the outer layer of the dress might fall straight when not in motion, and so add length. She is in great shape, but should always remember to dress her age and not that of her daughters. (I am sure you know the instances I am thinking of!)

  3. It's great to have a holiday at cotton house mustique. They have an awesome choice.


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