x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Favourite Things: Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

In the fourth of this six-part summer series, we speak to the pianist and author of The Naughty Girl's Guide to Life.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson at her baby grand piano in her London penthouse. Alexander James
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson at her baby grand piano in her London penthouse. Alexander James

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, or TPT, has become a household name in Britain since she first came to the attention of the media in 1996 - a result of her charm, beauty and royal connections (her parents are close friends with Prince Charles and the families often holiday together).

Palmer-Tomkinson's glittering social life and other activities have been ravenously documented by the British tabloid press, including her long battle with cocaine addiction, culminating in a stay in rehab in 1999 and then reconstructive nasal surgery in 2006.

The 41-year-old is an accomplished concert pianist, having played at the Royal Festival Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra, entertained audiences at the Royal Albert Hall and performed at the Coliseum in Rome for a Leonard Bernstein tribute.

Palmer-Tomkinson is immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds, has written for several national newspapers and magazines, including columns in the Sunday Times, and published a bestselling tongue-in-cheek self-help guide entitled The Naughty Girl's Guide to Life. She established herself as an entertaining storyteller with her debut novel, Inheritance. Again inspired by some of the amazing twists and turns of Palmer-Tomkinson's own life, Infidelity is the sequel. From the brilliant white ski slopes of Klosters to the serenity of a Buddhist retreat, Infidelity is a tale of lovers and losers, cheaters and winners.

My favourite book is The House by the Sea by Santa Sebag Montefiore, because I always get carried away in the passionate affairs of Santa's characters.

My favourite scent has to be Fracas by Robert Piguet. My mother used to wear it and it's the rarest scent in the world.

My favourite film is Breakfast at Tiffany's. Like Holly Golightly, I am always looking for my shoes, I have a friend in prison and I'm still looking for a man!

My favourite meal has to be Sole Meuniere at Scott's in London's Mayfair because it's cosy comfort food and on top of that, it's good for you. It melts in your mouth.

My best accessory is a belt by Maison Martin Margiela. They accessorise everything from beach wear to evening wear.

My favourite place is my home in Klosters because it is only a short flight away and I get privacy, skiing and Alpine air.

My favourite beauty product is Darphin Predermine Cream - I've always used it and I'm a great believer in the motto "If it's not broke, don't fix it".

My favourite photo is a snapshot John Swannell took on my 40th birthday with my dad - it captures such a tender moment.

My favourite designer is Alaïa. The Alaïa little black dress is expensive, timeless and lasts a lifetime.

My favourite shoe designer is Charlotte Olympia - quirky, original and very high!

My personal style signifier is my sky-high heels.

The best spa treatment I know is the Carita prolift firming facial at Richard Ward - they never fail me with their innovative service and products.

My heroes in real life are my mother because she puts up with me, Audrey Hepburn because she did so much for charity and she looked graceful up until the end, and the Duchess of Cambridge because she is doing a great job and is uber fabulous.

The last thing I bought and loved was my Christian Dior polar bear Snowy.

An unforgettable place I've travelled to in the past year is Villa Tara at Karma Resorts - my spa heaven!

If I didn't live where I do now, I would live in New York - it's got such a strong pulse about it.

I feel most creative in my London penthouse, sitting at my baby grand piano.

My greatest achievement is being immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds. It still freaks me out how quiet and still I can be!

The qualities I most value in my friends are discretion, loyalty, trust and a sense of humour.

My best piece of advice, if that's what it is: no good deed goes unpunished.

My guilty pleasure is ... Everything I dois guilt-ridden so I don't know what my guiltiest pleasure would be!

The five words that best describe me are flawed, fabulous, fun, feisty and a fashionista.

I never leave home without my keys, so I can get back in again!

My favourite way to relax is by playing Philip Glass on the piano.

My most defining moment was playing Mozart at the Albert Hall in an Anouska Hempel evening gown in front of 7,000 people. I even had dressing room number one, which has been occupied by world-class performers.

My favourite era of fashion is the swinging 1960s because I love the beehives, the A-line skirts and the eyelashes.

My biggest extravagance is that, rightly or wrongly, I give my plants Evian water.

Follow Arts & Life on Twitter to keep up with all the latest news and events @LifeNationalUAE