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Rice + Toye: Izabella Scott - Lunch at the Ritz

Rice + Toye: Izabella Scott - Lunch at the Ritz

Olga Deterding was an eccentric socialite of 1970s London. She died very suddenly in 1978, choking on a piece of bacon, at midnight, on New Year’s Eve. Olga was a fabulously wealthy oil heiress, reported to have inherited £50 million from her father, although accounts vary in the extreme. She lived in a Brutalist penthouse in Mayfair, which housed a collection of Haitian art, a small vineyard and a painting studio. The building sat right opposite the Ritz Hotel, and Olga was said to spy on its guests from her rooftop through a pair of large, brass binoculars. It was in this flat that Olga hosted the many parties for which she is remembered; her guests included Warhol Superstar Holly Woodlawn, 70s style journalists like Tom Wolfe and Peter York, the raconteur and writer Quentin Crisp, and many more.

Image of Olga courtesy Izabella Scott.