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28.09.2011

Had lunch with Joanne Cohen, the niece of Stanley Cohen OBE, the former owner of Prestat. Joanne worked at the old Prestat shop in South Molton Street and was a positive mine of information. Apparently Dilys, the shop manageress who only really enjoyed serving titled customers, used to help herself to a lime fondant and lemon fondant every day before taking off her coat!

Joanne told me that Prestat had concession-counters in Harrods and Liberty in London; and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. That was all new information to be added to our archive file.

But the really exciting news, of course, is who used to frequent the Prestat shop in the 1970s and early 1980s. Lady Diana was a regular customer and Joanne says that Prestat provided the chocolates for the Royal Wedding in 1981. In this period, famous customers included Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Cher, a trio from the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame if ever there were. Dilys being Dilys, of course, was more impressed with having Gordon Jackson (yes, Gordon Jackson!) as a regular customer. Bless her – and thank you, Joanne, for these timeless nuggets of information.

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