On Location: Going Intercontinental

Throughout her career in the adult industry, Mary supplemented the earnings she made from her modelling assignments by regularly working as an escort to the rich, famous and not-so-famous. In the early-1970s she worked closely alongside fellow model Maureen O’Malley (later amusingly re-christened ‘Mary Whitehouse’ by David Sullivan for the pages of Whitehouse magazine). In fact, it was O’Malley, who sadly died in 2013, who first introduced Mary to the millionaire publisher in February 1974. Mary and Maureen did many jobs together – both as models, and as escorts. They appeared together in photo-sets for several Goldstar publications during 1974, including Sex Games, Sexpert and Super Sexpert. Off the page they entertained clients at locations around London, including some of the swankiest hotels in town.

The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington was popular with Mary, as was the Cumberland in Marylebone and the Park Tower in Knightsbridge. During the mid-1970s Playbirds magazine was obsessed with publishing exposés on ‘whoring at London’s top hotels’ and many of the venues Mary favoured were featured in lengthy – and salacious – articles.

Hotel InterContinental 1977

Mary’s favourite hotel was the imposing Intercontinental, situated at the busy junction of Hyde Park Corner and Park Lane. Built in 1974, the five-star hotel was not to everybody’s taste, since its ultra-modern box-style construction seemed at odds with its historic postcode. Aside from its lavish bedrooms, the hotel was famed for its French restaurant, Le Soufflé, presided over by head chef, Peter Kromberg, for over 25 years. It’s doubtful that any top-ranking hotel would want to be associated with the sex industry, but, amazingly, Mary spoke in great detail about the Intercontinental on one of the many erotic recordings she committed to tape in 1977.

Hotel Intercontinental 1981

Mary’s dirty stories were usually based on true experiences, and for one particular recording she recounts how she had “a lover called Dave, from show-business” (alluding to her then-boyfriend Dave Cash, a DJ on London’s Capital Radio station). “Every second we got we were screwing,” Mary says, before explaining that they went to the Intercontinental together; she wearing an evening gown and Dave donning a dickie-bow. The randy couple visit the Soufflé Room and are dazzled by an array of “marvellous French food” and “three or four waiters to each table.” The pair soon can’t keep their hands off each other, and Mary describes how they both masturbate underneath the “long white tablecloths”, avoiding the attentive staff, until they have to mop themselves up with the Intercontinental serviettes! Only then are they “able to get on with the main course.”

Mary’s torrid tale is told with customary good humour, but it’s fascinating how unabashed she is when talking about one of London’s most famous luxury venues. The Intercontinental still prides itself on being the city’s ‘most prestigious address’ although, sadly, Le Soufflé is no more; it was recently replaced by a stylish Italian dining room and kitchen.

All words strictly © Simon Sheridan 2016

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