Anouska Hempel

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Anouska Hempel
Lady Weinberg
Born Anne Geissler
(1941-12-13) 13 December 1941 (age 75)
New Zealand
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 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 has mused that she was born on a boat en route from Papua New Guinea to New Zealand.[1] Her father emigrated to New Zealand where she was born.[5] Her family later moved to Cronulla, south of Sydney in Australia, 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 £10.[6]

Two years later, she married Constantine Hempel, with whom she had a son and daughter. He was a journalist and property developer who died in a mysterious[citation needed]car accident in Knightsbridge. 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 including Scars of Dracula (1970), The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971), Go for a Take (1972), Tiffany Jones (1973), Russ Meyer's controversial,[7] soft pornographic film Black Snake (1973),[8] Double Exposure (1977), and Lady Oscar (1979). In the 1970s, Hempel also auditioned for the part of Jo Grant in Doctor Who and appeared in the science-fiction TV series' UFO ("Mindbender" 1970) and Space: 1999.

It is claimed that in 1998, Hempel bought the UK rights to Tiffany Jones and Black Snake to keep them out of distribution, and effectively block all possible TV screenings and video releases of the films in the country.[2] However, Black Snake received a UK DVD release in the UK through Arrow Films in 2009,[9] suggesting these reports may have been unfounded.

Hotel and design career[edit]

Hempel is now a hotelier and designer.[10] In 2002, she was ranked by Architectural Digest as one of the top 100 interior designers and architects in the world.[11]


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.[12] 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 expand the brand with the second Blakes due to open in Singapore in early 2016.

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.[13][14][15] 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 for many famous women - including Princess Diana and Princess Margaret of the Royal Family.[citation needed]


Thames & Hudson published a coffee table book on Hempel in 2014, authored by Marcus Binney,[16] and commissioned by her husband Sir Mark Weinberg.[17] The book showcases her various projects and designs in the book.

Partial filmography[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". 17 March 2005. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. 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". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Revenge of the Dominatrix Hotelier". Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Anouska Hempel – a Woman of Many Firsts". Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Architectural Digest". Architectural Digest. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (2 October 2006). "Terrace towers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 November 2012. ... the ultra-minimalist, five-star Hempel Hotel 
  13. ^ "Oxford Gardens". Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  14. ^ "Memorial Garden to Princess Margaret in Oxford". Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  15. ^ "Princess Margaret Memorial Garden opens to public, 21st August". Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  16. ^ "Anouska Hempel". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Jain, Soumya. "Anouska Hempel - Spaces that Speak". Retrieved 20 January 2017. 

External links[edit]