Anouska Hempel

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Anouska Hempel
Lady Weinberg
Born Anne Geissler
(1941-12-13) 13 December 1941 (age 72)
At sea
Residence Cole Park, Wiltshire
Holland Park, London, England, United Kingdom
Nationality New Zealand
Other names Anoushka Hempel
Citizenship British
Education Sutherland High School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Hotelier and designer
Former actress
Years active 1963 to present
Known for Designer of Blakes Hotel and Hempel Hotel
Style Modern Minimalism
Home town Lower Hutt[1]
Spouse(s) Constantine Hempel (widowed)
Bill Kenwright (m. 1978–80) (divorced)
Sir Mark Weinberg (m. 1980)
Children 1 son and a daughter

Anouska Hempel, Lady Weinberg (born 13 December 1941 as Anne Geissler; sometimes credited as Anoushka Hempel)[2]) is a New Zealand film and television actress turned hotelier and interior designer.[3] She is a noted figure in London society.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Hempel is of Russian and Swiss German ancestry and claims to have been born on a boat en route from Papua New Guinea to New Zealand.[1] Her father emigrated to New Zealand and became a sheep farmer.[5] Her family later moved to Cronulla, south of Sydney where he owned a garage. As a teenager in the mid-1950s, Hempel attended Sutherland High School. In 1962 she moved to England carrying only ten pounds.[6]

Two years later, she married Constantine Hempel, a journalist and property developer who died in a car accident. Hempel and her second husband, theatrical producer Bill Kenwright, divorced after two years of marriage in 1980. Later that year, Hempel married financier Sir Mark Weinberg, with whom she has a son, Jonathan.[2] She appears in a photographic portrait by Bryan Wharton on display in the National Portrait Gallery.

Acting career[edit]

Hempel's first film appearance was in the Hammer Horror film The Kiss of the Vampire (1963). In 1969, she appeared in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service as one of the "angels of death". Thereafter she appeared in several films and television programmes, including UFO, The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971), Zodiac (with Anton Rodgers), a 1973 adaptation of the comic strip Tales of Tiffany Jones, and Russ Meyer's controversial,[7] soft pornographic film Black Snake (1973).[8] In the 1970s, Hempel also auditioned for the part of Jo Grant in Doctor Who and appeared in the science-fiction TV series Space 1999.

In 1998, Hempel bought the UK rights to Tiffany Jones and Black Snake to keep them out of distribution. This effectively blocks all possible TV screenings and video releases of the films in the country.[2]

Hotel and design career[edit]

Hempel is now a hotelier and designer. In 2002, she was ranked by Architectural Digest as one of the top 100 interior designers and architects in the world.[9]

Hotels[edit]

To date, Hempel has established four hotels. Blakes Hotel was created in 1978 as one of the world's first luxury boutique hotels.[8] Based in South Kensington, it is well known for its design, quality of service and privacy.[4] The hotel's restaurant has become a destination in its own right, featuring a fusion of Hempel's own favourite cuisines – Japanese and Italian. Her second hotel, the Hempel Hotel, is noted as a minimalist hotel.[10] Blakes Amsterdam was opened in 1999, drawing inspiration from Amsterdam's historic Dutch East India Company.

Hempel currently works as a silent adviser in her hotel company[4][8] and is working on other hotels in Beirut, Santiago Chile, Lisbon, Istanbul and a new hotel for Baccarat in Rabat. Her showcase hotel "Warapuru" is set in the Brazilian rainforest overlooking the ocean, but opening has been delayed several years.Other recent openings include The Grosvenor House Apartments, on Park Lane and La Suite West in Bayswater, both in London. Blakes Hotel was recently sold to investors, following a renovation by the Anouska Hempel Design there are plans to design more Blakes Hotels around the world, with New York cited as the first possible opening.

Other designs[edit]

Hempel's restaurant designs range from modern minimalist to theatrical. Her restaurant projects include Shy in Jakarta and Tom Aikens in London. She has designed retail stores for Van Cleef and Arpels(in London, Paris, Monaco, Beverly Hills, Osaka and Geneva) and Louis Vuitton, for whom she designed their flagship Paris store and items such as luxury fountain pens.Other stores include Henry Cottons in Milan and Lokum in London.

Hempel has also designed two yachts, "Beluga" her own personal yacht, a renovated 10 berth Turkish Gulet which has black sails; and San Lorenzo, a sleek minimal design for a private commission.

Hempel has taken private commissions for homes and landscapes, most recently a garden in honour of Princess Margaret in Oxford. Her own homes, Cole Park in Wiltshire and a large house in Ennismore Gardens, London, regularly appear in design magazines. Through a boutique in South Kensington, she has designed haute couture clothes[11] for many famous women - including Princess Diana and Princess Margaret of the Royal Family.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Naked Romps of Lady Weinberg". The New Zealand Herald. 25 June 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "IMDB Biography". IMDb. 1 May 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Emma Jacobs (23 March 2012). "At Home: Anouska Hempel". Financial Times. 
  4. ^ a b c "Know Your Hoteliers, Part 3". Gridskipper.com. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Lady Weinberg Loses Battle". HighBeam Research. 5 June 2005. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hempel of Doom". HighBeam Research. 29 July 2001. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Nigel Watson. "Titillating Russ Meyer". Talkingpix.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Revenge of the Dominatrix Hotelier". Hotelchatter.com. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Architectural Digest". Architectural Digest. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Jonathan Glancey (2 October 2006). "Terrace towers". Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 November 2012. "... the ultra-minimalist, five-star Hempel Hotel" 
  11. ^ McEye Media. "ZooZoom Magazine Online". Zoozoom.com. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 

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