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Clubland boss Richard Caring hits out at council red tape over planned revamp of Mark’s club

: Richard Caring and Patricia Caring attend the George Club Private Preview Event on May 23, 2023 in London, England.  (Dave Benett)
: Richard Caring and Patricia Caring attend the George Club Private Preview Event on May 23, 2023 in London, England. (Dave Benett)

Mayfair club owner Richard Caring is facing a battle with Westminster Council to be allowed to give his Mark’s Club a multi-million pound revamp.

Speaking at a preview for updated private members’ club George last night, Caring, pictured with his wife Patricia, said he is waiting for council approval for his latest project. It’s “like giving birth to triplets,” he said. “Nothing’s easy.”

Caring added that he aims to “give the competition a run for their money”. That might worry long-term rival Robin Birley: Birley owns nearby 5 Hertford Street, and his father Mark sold his clubs to Caring in 2007.

In March, we revealed that Caring was planning to move Mark’s to Berkeley Square, near his other venue, Annabel’s. Caring can’t update all his clubs: he joked that when he tried at the staid Bath & Racquets Club, clients had a “complete riot” so he gave up.

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Boris Johnson has been referred to the police over claims he broke lockdown rules at Chequers during the pandemic. Jacob Rees-Mogg played the idea down, saying the PM took back an invite to the chief whip to abide by rules but then said his son bowled Johnson out in a cricket game. On LBC radio, Boris’s sister Rachel said “all rules were followed whenever I went to Chequers, which wasn’t often enough”. Helping, or just making it worse?

Georgi’s Brexit inspiration

Author Georgi Gospodinov is announced as the winner of The International Booker Prize 2023 (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Author Georgi Gospodinov is announced as the winner of The International Booker Prize 2023 (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov won the International Booker Prize for Time Shelter last night. At a Sky Garden ceremony he told us Brexit was a “big inspiration” for his tome, which muses on Europe’s obsession with the past. “Here in the UK there are many layers of memory,” he said. Gospodinov was glad to be in London but joked that passport control was hard to navigate.

Emma’s smiles despite wrist injury

Emma Raducanu was out for a preview for revamped members’ club George on Mayfair’s Mount Street last night. The tennis star wore a cast: she has injured both wrists and won’t be at Wimbledon this year. Also celebrating the club, which opens next month, were actor James Norton and Lady Lola Bute. Elsewhere, actress Helena Bonham Carter went to the Chelsea Flower Show with writer Helen Fielding. They launched a ‘Living Rose Basket’ by Lulu Guinness.

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Florence Pugh (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)
Florence Pugh (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)

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