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Dining with Vivacious Vivica

Original article:

Exiting the Spanish Court Hotel lobby in electric blue Giuseppe Zanotti heels, accompanied by her Glam Squad (manager Darren Bond, make-up artist Tai Young and friend Shauna Chin) to meet the waiting car, actress and budding entrepreneur Vivica Fox is in island-chill mode, relishing the unique Jamaican hospitality she's received since jetting in last Wednesday afternoon.

Fox and company sweep through the streets in their chauffeur-driven 2012 Audi Q7, en route to a welcome dinner in her honour at the elegant home of GraceKennedy director James Moss Solomon and his wife Permanent Cosmetics proprietor Racquel Jenkins Moss Solomon.

When Fox arrives for a truly intimate dinner reception, the genial hosts exchange warm handshakes with their guest, who by evening's end will depart trading hugs. Dinner is a chatty, civilised affair with the short guest list that includes LIME chairman Chris Dehring; Soho boutique owner Michele Coulton and her companion, contractor Michael Lewis; acclaimed Trinidadian fashion designer Meiling Esau; Spanish Court Hotel owner Christopher Issa and wife Kimberly Mais-Issa; and LIME's regional enterprise manager Heather Elliott.

The menu tilted heavily in favour of local fare, obviously meant to expose Fox to traditional Jamaican cuisine. Catered by Suzanne Couch, the spread included oxtail and broad beans, escoveitched fish, curried goat, jerk chicken skewers, coconut rice, cous cous with raisins and pine nuts and plantains. The selections at the food station went over well with the visitors, leading Fox's manager Bond (who was also celebrating his birthday and was feted with a surprise lychee cake) to exclaim: "The food and hospitality since we've been here have been amazing... Jamaican food is sooo good... I had a peas soup earlier at Spanish Court and it was excellent."

Fox's laid-back persona makes her a great party guest. She politely asks to be excused to check in on the tennis court action at the US Open and notes her pleasure that Serena Williams has advanced to the semi-finals.

With convo moving easily, guests congregate on the outdoor patio and backyard to sip cocktails, chat and eat. Though her stay is but four days long, Fox confides that another visit to our shores is looking very possible.

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