Last Friday was the glamour event of the British romance publishing -- the annual presentation of the Romantic Novel of the Year and the Romance Prize at the Savoy.
If you have ever seen the film Notting Hill, you will know how splendid the Savoy is. Among other things, it is the only place in Britain where they drive on wrong side of the road.
Mod X and Little Black Dress author, Julie Cohen and I arrived in a cab. Julie as befits her website was wearing a black top and orange skirt. I was in a teal blue Monsoon outfit.
The lunch begins with a champagne reception. As it is very much an industry function, editors and agents are there. Mills and Boon editor Joanne Carr lived up to reputation and wore a splendid pair of shoes. My daughter whispered to me that she looked just like a model. Anne Herries and Catherine George, two of the finalists were there -- both with huge smiles on their faces.
We were then summoned to lunch. On the tables, were programmes of the day's events. The cover was a cartoon by Bestie, highlighting the joys of reading romance on public transportation. The top table came in last.
The food was delicious -- goat cheese and onion tart for starters, chicken with vagatables (my daughter was not overly fond of the potatoes and almond combo), and a treacle tart with raspberries and vanilla ice cream for pudding. The vanilla ice cream was made with a vanilla pod and tasted fantastic.
Then came the awards -- Rosie Thomas won the Romantic Novel of the year for Iris & Ruby. And Nell Dixon won The Romance Prize for Marrying Max. Nell was flabbergasted, and I had to pull her up from her chair and gently shove her towards the podium. As I had insisted that Nell enter the book, I felt like a very proud fairy godmother.
Modern/Presents Author Sharon Kenderick managed colour coordinate her cast with her purple outfit. New presents author India Grey was there looking stunning in black. She is a warm and lovely person. Kate Walker also looked great in her white top and dark skirt combo. And the shoes these women wear were -- well stunning.
It was a wonderful event, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.