West London’s stately gym, adjacent to the Stamford Bridge football ground, is popular with Chelsea players and staff, and counts Hugh Grant and Lord Coe as members.
But the Chelsea Health Club & Spa, previously owned by former Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich, has suddenly closed, leaving members and staff in a ‘shock state’.
Initially the venue was temporarily closed due to COVID restrictions. But then the UK government imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs after the invasion of Ukraine and Chelsea were hit hard. The club was unable to sell tickets or merchandise, and the gym’s shutters remained closed.
However, after the Blues were sold in May to a consortium led by US billionaire Todd Boehley, 48, in a deal worth £4.25 billion, it was thought that things would start to improve.
That’s why no one was expecting to receive an email this week that read: ‘I am writing to inform you that Chelsea Health Clubs and Spas will not be reopening for business.
Keeping this in view, all existing subscriptions are terminated with immediate effect. Throughout August, we will process due refunds for those whose membership fees have been paid after our closure.’
The Chelsea Health Club & Spa (pictured), formerly owned by former Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich, has suddenly closed, leaving members and staff in a ‘shock state’.
It was the favorite post-match warmdown spot for the Chelsea Stars, and was regularly frequented by former players Frank Lampard and John Terry. Apparently Abramovich had his own private changing room and sauna within the building. (Pictured: Chelsea Football Club)
A disgruntled former employee tells me: ‘We are all in a state of shock. No one comes out of this well. Both the members and the staff have been kept in the dark for months.
‘We had high hopes from the new owner but it seems he is eager to clear the slate from the Abramovich years.’
As one of London’s more exclusive spas, annual memberships were in excess of £2,500, plus a joining fee of at least £500.
It was the favorite post-match warmdown spot for the Chelsea Stars, and was regularly frequented by former players Frank Lampard and John Terry. Apparently Abramovich had his own private changing room and sauna within the building.
It was also the earpiece-gate setting, when former manager Jose Mourinho scored a touchline ban for Chelsea’s quarter-final with Bayern Munich in 2005.
It was rumored that he was watching the game on TV at the gym while communicating with his assistant on the touchline, who reportedly put an earpiece under his hat.
If revenge is a dish that is best served cold, it seems Thai firm Minor International has had a full helping hand.
Months after restaurateurs Jeremy King and Chris Corbyn were stripped of control of Corbyn & King – the duo behind The Wolseley in London – it is being forced to close Café Wolsley in Bicester Village.
Describing the shutdown as “extremely regrettable”, the new owners say it is being done “at the request of the Bicester Village owner”, who declined to comment.
But is it too much to assume that its board members are loyal to Corbyn and King, like celebrity fans Kate Moss and Nigella Lawson?
Sequin game for warrior Christie
Known around the world as Game of Thrones warrior Brian of Tarth (below), it looks like Gwendoline Christie still has a penchant for armor.
The 43-year-old Statue star showed off her quirky style at the London premiere of Netflix series The Sandman with a silver sequined dress designed by Rick Owens.
In the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic books, Christie starred as Lucifer, who is usually portrayed as a man.
Gwendoline Christie, 43, showed off her quirky style at the London premiere of the Netflix series The Sandman with a silver sequined dress designed by Rick Owens.
Gwendoline Christie as Brian of Tarth in the hit series of 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 drunken angel.’
Gwendoline, who is dating designer Giles Deacon, says: ‘God’s favorite and the idea of being cast out was really exciting.
As a female artist, after innumerable disappointments playing a character with that choked bitterness of resentment felt like I could connect with her.
It’s true that rock stars will do anything to get attention, but Brian May was not crying wolf when he suffered a heart attack in 2020.
Queen guitarist’s wife Anita Dobson recalls: ‘He said, ‘Babe, I think I’m having a heart attack.’
‘I said, ‘No, you’re exercising and you’ve overdone it.’ He replied, ‘No, it is different.’ At the hospital, the star, now 75, was found ‘very near to death’.
So how did ex-EastEnders actress Dobson, 73, put her back in health? ‘I was the saddest nurse you’ve ever seen!’ I guess he hasn’t seen a flight over the cuckoo’s nest?
Elle’s boy needs speed like his dad
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Flynn Buson, the 24-year-old son of billionaire Arpad Buson and supermodel Elle Macpherson.
He shared a photo of himself driving the same speedboat his 59-year-old French financier father Arpad had swung into as a toddler – and he looks exactly like his father.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Billionaire Arpad Buson and supermodel Elle Macpherson’s 24-year-old son Flynn Buson (pictured right and left as a toddler with his father)
Now a licensed pilot, Flynn divides his time between London, New York and Miami.
His mother Elle dated Busson from 1996 to 2005. They also have a second son, Sai, 19.
The Queen has her own private entrance to one of her favorite beaches. Thomas Coke, 8th Earl of Leicester, who owns the Holkham Estate in Norfolk, has given His Majesty a ‘more prudent way of entering the reserve’ to walk the dogs.
Jake Fiennes, director of conservation at Holkham Hall, says: ‘When the Queen arrives at Holkham Beach she comes down a secret walkway that is not accessible by public vehicles.
He further added that whenever the emperor needed rest, she would ‘sit a mile and a half below the main beach so as not to be seen by the public’.
Sienna’s Ugly Cottage Reformation Isn’t a Family Affair
Oh, to blow up the wall at Sienna Miller’s next big family gathering…
The 40-year-old actress has just renovated her Buckinghamshire cottage and despite being the former stepmother to top interior designer Kelly Hoppen, Sienna enlisted her film director friend Gabby Dell, 61, to help do it.
Sienna Miller (pictured) just renovated her Buckinghamshire cottage
In one video, she says: ‘Gabi has the best taste of anyone I’ve ever met. In the lockdown, when she was nervous about what to do as her film was pushed, I said: ‘You can do meri hut’, and she did.’
Sienna also calls Gabby her ‘second mother’.
Kelly, 63, was married to Edwin Miller from 1989 to 2003.
He is so close to Sienna and her sister, stylist Savannah, that he still calls them his stepchildren.