Students' party goes with plenty of fizz

I FEAR that my doughty lensman Z will soon need to be fitted with a pacemaker after covering a fundraising party for a charity fashion show organised by the bright young things at St Andrews University.

A bevy of beauties - which sadly did not include Prince William - quaffed Moet & Chandon, as well as Bombay Sapphire cocktails, at the West Port Bar to help to raise funds for the Reuters AIDfund.

The 300 attendees included Earl Haig’s great-grandson, Richard Dennen, who was due to attend yesterday’s Remembrance Day service at Westminster Abbey before using his study week to head off to an upmarket Texan ranch.

"The idea of the evening is to raise money to help us put on our annual fashion show, which takes place next term," said the affable Richard over a jar of fizz. "The charity that benefits is the Reuters AIDfund.

"I will be in London for the Service of Remembrance, as my great-grandfather founded the British Legion - and also was a chancellor here during the 1920s.

"Then I’m heading off to a ranch in Houston, as my friend Alexis Crowe’s father is in the oil industry. The ranch has its own zebras and elephants, so it should be interesting."

Despite sporting a trendy tousled look, Richard was spotted later in the week scurrying off to his barber to have his locks smartened up ahead of his engagements.

Also at the party was Sandrine Janet, sporting her trademark long woollen glove, while Sophie Pera was so happy with the choice of champagne, she knocked it straight back from the bottle.

When the West Port shut its doors, many of the students headed off in specially hired double-decker buses to Fat Sam’s nightclub in Dundee to party into the wee small hours - although not everyone made it safely on board. All of which left Z to mop his brow and wend his way home.

SCOTTISH masterchef Jeff Bland is used to cooking up a storm in the kitchens of the Michelin-starred No1 Restaurant in Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel, but he was more than happy to perform a recent unusual assignment. Bland was asked to prepare a birthday cake in honour of the centenary of Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize.

In order to celebrate her achievements, Marie Curie Cancer Care Scotland have been holding a series of debates and discussions involving the most successful women of today.

Bridget McConnell and Edwina Currie were among the guests of honour at the unique debate at Marie Curie House in the capital’s New Town.

"The Balmoral recognises the valuable work Marie Curie has undertaken, and we are delighted to support this event," said Jeff.

Cutting the cake honours then went to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

Why the Opal Lounge guests had hot reception

THE Opal Lounge may have thrown the best aftershow party following the MTV awards, but all did not go exactly to plan as the George Street venue opened its doors to the likes of Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Dido, Pink et al.

The party hosted by record company BMG suffered a momentary scare after five fire engines were called to the Edinburgh club.

"For one moment it looked like all the hard work to keep the venue and guest-list secret was under threat because of the outdoor braziers they have on the steps," says my man guarding the rope.

"Strong winds were blowing the fires quite high, so the fire brigade was called. All was well in the end, but half the world’s best-known celebrities were in the club that night, so it was a bit of a nasty moment, to say the least."

Despite the scare, David Hall, general manager of the Opal Lounge, said he was delighted with the way the evening had gone.

"It had been something of a major operation to keep the whole thing hushed up, and the plan was to make things as relaxed for the celebrities as possible. BMG reckoned it was the most concentrated gathering of A-list celebrities under one roof.

"The staff we had for the night were all given 50-a-head makeovers to match the evening’s oriental theme, and there were more than 600 magnums of champagne drunk on the night."

Despite former Take That singer Mark Owen coming up to K to offer a friendly handshake, she and Z were forced to watch proceedings among the other snappers.

There has been much speculation as to whether Justin Timberlake’s face was looking tired or bruised the morning after, but can he be outed as a Jenners man after a lackey popped in to search for a pullover for him?

WITH so many celebrities in town for the MTV awards flashing copious amounts of expensive jewellery, Edinburgh’s most famous resident, JK Rowling, decided to indulge in a little retail therapy of her own.

The creator of Harry Potter was spotted in bespoke jewellers Hamilton & Inches stocking up on sparkles on a recent family shopping expedition.

"She was in with her husband and child when Hamilton & Inches were having a special African exhibition," says my man dusting the diamonds.

"But it seemed like she was really there for the sole purpose of shopping and seemed to be looking at and buying quite a large amount of stuff, rather than taking in the exhibition.

"She was there with her husband, who looked less interested by proceedings, as well as her child. A lot of stuff was brought out for her to view, but obviously in her position money would be no object."

Party of the week

ALISON CRAIG is expected to bring a touch of literary celebrity glamour to Edinburgh this week with the launch of her new book, Alison’s Diary The Nappy Years.

Expect a hail of chums from the media and PR world to knock back refreshments at Howies Restaurant in Waterloo Place on Wednesday, in a night unlikely to be thin on wine and wit as the Chardonnay community come out to play. Boswell has his doubts as to whether the tome is up his street - or even K’s - given that Elaine C Smith described it as "what happened to Bridget Jones after she married Mark Darcy and got up the duff!"

Either way, neither likes to miss a good party, and after all the excitement of last week, the Edinburgh glitterati will be out again in force.