The luxury West London gym adjacent to the Stamford Bridge football ground is popular with Chelsea players and staff and counts the likes of Hugh Grant and Lord Coe as members.
But the Chelsea Health Club & Spa, formerly owned by Chelsea’s former boss Roman Abramovich, has suddenly closed, leaving members and staff ‘in a state of shock’.
The venue was temporarily closed, initially due to Covid restrictions. But then the British government imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs after the invasion of Ukraine, and Chelsea was hit hard. The club was unable to sell tickets or merchandise, and the shutters remained down in the gym.
However, after the Blues were sold to a consortium led by 48-year-old American billionaire Todd Boehly in a deal worth £4.25 billion in May, things were thought to start to improve.
So no one expected to receive an email this week that read: ‘I am writing to inform you that the Chelsea Health Club and Spa will not be reopening.
‘With this in mind, all existing memberships will be terminated immediately. In August, we will process refunds due for those with membership fees paid after our closure.”
The Chelsea Health Club and Spa (pictured), formerly owned by Chelsea’s former boss Roman Abramovich, has suddenly closed, leaving members and staff ‘in a state of shock’
It was the favorite post-game warmdown spot for Chelsea stars and was frequented by ex-players Frank Lampard and John Terry. Abramovich apparently had his own locker room and sauna in the building. (Pictured: Chelsea Football Club)
A disgruntled ex-employee tells me, “We’re all in shock. Nobody comes out well here. Members and employees alike have been groping in the dark for months.
“We had high hopes for the new owner, but it seems he wants to wipe the slate of the Abramovich years clean.”
As one of London’s fancier spas, annual membership was over £2,500, plus a membership fee of at least £500.
It was the favorite post-game warmdown spot for Chelsea stars and was frequented by ex-players Frank Lampard and John Terry. Abramovich apparently had his own locker room and sauna in the building.
It was also the setting for the earphone port, when former manager Jose Mourinho served a sideline ban for Chelsea’s quarter-final with Bayern Munich in 2005.
He was rumored to have watched the match on TV at the gym while communicating with his assistant on the sidelines, who reportedly had an earpiece under his hat.
If revenge is a dish best served cold, it seems Thai firm Minor International has had to cough up a full serving.
Months after restaurateurs Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, the duo behind London’s The Wolseley, took control of Corbin & King, it is forced to close Cafe Wolseley in Bicester Village.
The new owners describe the closure as “deeply regrettable” and say it is being done “at the behest of the owner of Bicester Village,” who declined to comment.
But is it too much to assume that members of the board are Corbin & King loyalists like celebrity fans Kate Moss and Nigella Lawson?
A game of sequins for warrior Christie
Known worldwide as Game Of Thrones warrior Brienne of Tarth (below), it seems that Gwendoline Christie still has a penchant for armor.
The stately star, 43, showcased her quirky sense of style with a tiered silver sequin dress designed by Rick Owens, during the London premiere of Netflix series The Sandman.
In the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic books, Christie stars as Lucifer, who is usually depicted as a man.
Gwendoline Christie, 43, showcased her quirky sense of style with a tiered silver sequin dress designed by Rick Owens, at the London premiere of the Netflix series The Sandman.
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne van Tarth in the hit series Game Of Thrones
She tells me, ‘It was extraordinary. Neil has always talked about Lucifer being inspired by a young David Bowie and this idea of a junkie angel.”
Gwendoline, who has a relationship with designer Giles Deacon, adds: “The idea of being God’s favorite and being rejected was really exciting.
As a female artist, playing a character with that stifled bitterness of resentment after countless disappointments felt like something I could connect with.”
It’s true that rock stars will do anything for attention, but Brian May didn’t cry when he had a heart attack in 2020.
The Queen guitarist’s wife, Anita Dobson, recalls, “He said, ‘Honey, I think I’m having a heart attack.’
“I said, ‘No, you exercised and you overdid it.’ He replied, “No, this is different.” At the hospital, the star, now 75, was found to be ‘near death’.
So how was ex-EastEnders actress Dobson, 73, able to get him back to health? “I was the most miserable nurse you ever saw!” I’m guessing she didn’t watch One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?
Elle’s boy needs speed just like his father
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Flynn Busson, the 24-year-old son of billionaire Arpad Busson and supermodel Elle Macpherson.
He shared a photo of himself driving the same speedboat his French financier, father Arpad, 59, drove him around as a toddler — and he looks exactly like his dad.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Flynn Busson (pictured right and left as a toddler with his father), the 24-year-old son of billionaire Arpad Busson and supermodel Elle Macpherson
Now a licensed pilot, Flynn splits his time between London, New York and Miami.
His mother Elle was in a relationship with Busson from 1996 to 2005. They also have a second son, Cy, 19.
The Queen has her own entrance to one of her favorite beaches. Thomas Coke, 8th Earl of Leicester, owner of Holkham Estate in Norfolk, has given Her Majesty a ‘more discreet way of entering the reserve’ when she wants to walk the dogs.
“When the Queen comes to Holkham Beach, she will come across a secret path that is off-limits to public transport,” said Jake Fiennes, director of conservation at Holkham Hall.
He adds that when the queen needs to rest, she is “a mile from the beach so as not to be seen by the public.”
Sienna’s chic revamp is not a family affair
Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Sienna Miller’s next big family gathering…
The 40-year-old actress has just renovated her Buckinghamshire cottage and, despite top interior designer Kelly Hoppen being her former stepmother, Sienna chose her film director, boyfriend Gaby Dellal, 61, to help her fix it up.
Sienna Miller (pictured) just renovated her Buckinghamshire cottage
In a video, she says, “Gaby has the best taste of anyone I’ve ever met. In lockdown, when she panicked about what to do because her movie was being pushed, I said, ‘You can fix up my house,’ and she did.’
Sienna even calls Gaby her “other mother.”
Kelly, 63, was married to Edwin Miller from 1989 to 2003.
She’s so close to Sienna and her sister, stylist Savannah, that she still calls them her stepchildren.