People: The business diary

THE vodka cocktails were flowing at the Grey Goose party in The Devil’s Advocate, Edinburgh, last week – attended by a line-up of actors, singers and creatives including the Scottish pair Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey) and Louise Linton, who has landed a role in Warren Beatty’s eagerly anticipated biopic of Howard Hughes.

Los Angeles-based, Murrayfield-raised Louise Linton was in Edinburgh last week at the Grey Goose party. Picture: Getty

Murrayfield-raised Louise, who launched her own film production company Stormchaser Films in 2012, revealed to The People column that her first production, Intruder, in which she plays the lead role, is due out this year. “It is a spine-tingling psychological thriller,” she says.

Now based in Los Angeles, Louise has worked with Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken. She was inspired to name her production company after a small boat owned by her brother David (who runs the Melville Castle Hotel) when the former Fettes pupils were growing up in Edinburgh.

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“My brother had a dinghy called The Stormchaser, which he kept down in Leith. The name was emblazoned on its hull in blue electrical-tape. As soon as I decided to start the production company I knew I had the name. That little boat braved many rough waters and if that humble dinghy could weather such storms I figured my production company, despite its small beginnings, could weather the worst that Hollywood can throw at me.”

While in Edinburgh, 28-year-old Louise was at the George Hotel to endorse the Linton Collection, a range of handbags by Dunmore.

Public relations and fashion guru Tessa Hartmann assisted with the Devil’s Advocate party. Other guests attending included journalists Ian Stewart and Terry Murden from The Scotsman, and the paper’s former Lifestyle Editor Ruth Walker, now an online fashion writer with Crave.

Better catchphrase

Staff at brand agency Tayburn are getting behind the Better Together campaign, the words emblazoned on the wall of their Edinburgh offices in chunky designer relief.

No clues as to how they might be voting in September though – managing director Simon Farrell says the slogan is an internal one, which the firm has been using to encourage staff since before its adoption by the unionist campaign. At least Alistair Darling can take comfort that, although his catchphrase isn’t original, it is well enough regarded by the experts for them to adopt it.

More power to them

The Industrial and Power Association’s Scotland conference takes on the big question this year, with the Glasgow event billed as “the power industry and the impact of the Scottish referendum”.

The body has lined up speakers and dignitaries including University of Strathclyde professor Jeremy Peat, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex, MSP Dennis Robertson and energy regulation expert Robert Armour.

Their insights into the impact of the referendum are likely to be better informed than any of us can claim today – the conference takes place in October, more than a month after the vote is due to take place.

Make theirs a double

Double celebrations at Edinburgh’s Valvona & Crolla after the famous Italian food and wine emporium was named International Wine Challenge regional merchant of the year in its 80th year.

After the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, a clearly delighted Philip Contini, chairman and managing director, said: “We were the first wine merchant to win the UK wine merchant award when the wine challenge started the competition and annual awards over 30 years ago. Since then we have won Italian specialist and Scottish specialist several times.”

Contini is the grandson of co-founder Alfonso Crolla and runs the business with his wife, the writer and food journalist Mary, and their daughter Francesca, who run the business from Elm Row.

The business’s roots go back to 1895, when Raffaele Valvona opened a continental warehouse in Newhaven.