THE PELLICANO BRIEF: There was a sweet scent of Italy in the London air this week, as Brioni reopened its flagship on Bruton Street, with Negronis on tap and an airy, elegant shopfit. Nearby, on Carlos Place, Pellicano Hotels staged a fashionable takeover of the Matchesfashion town house — chefs and all.
Matches’ Ulric Jerome and Natalie Kingham, along with Marie-Louise Sciò of Pellicano Hotels and the stylist Robert Rabensteiner, kicked off The Grand Tour Italy, a collaboration that will see Matches take a vacation edit of clothing to a pop-up shop on a Thirties yacht set to sail between the three Pellicano coastal hotels — Il Pellicano in Tuscany, La Posta Vecchia in Rome, and Il Mezzatorre on the island of Ischia in May and June.
Sciò and Rabensteiner also worked on a “Curated By” edit of clothing that adorned the ground floor of the townhouse during the cocktail, which drew guests including Bella Freud, Jane McFarland, Kim Sion, Dena Giannini, Stephen Doig, Daniela Agnelli, Fiona Scarry, Zoe Suen, Niomi Smart, Julia Hobbs, Flora Johnston, and Daisy de Villeneuve.
“We chose everything we wanted to wear,” said the sparky Sciò, who was practically dancing around the ground floor with joy. Dressed in a black Bella Freud dress with little puff shoulders and big gold earrings, she was also corralling guests up the steps to take a look at the famous Matches vending machine, which had been filled with Pellicano and Matches themed postcards, stickers, notebooks and matchboxes.
Upstairs in the town house café, chefs who’d flown in from Il Pellicano hotel were replicating some of their signature dishes, including octopus in tomato sauce with Italian mashed potato — with olive oil, not butter — fat pasta tubes with Amatriciana sauce, seabass, and tall glasses filled with tiramisu. It was beyond delicious, but may not have been ideal for anyone planning to slip into the Oseree high-rise metallic bikini, or the Reina Olga swimsuit, from Sciò’s new capsule collection, anytime soon.