Anouska Hempel

Anouska Hempel, Lady Weinberg (born 13 December 1941 as Anne Geissler; sometimes credited as Anoushka Hempel)[2] is a film and television actress turned hotelier and interior designer.[3] She is a noted figure in London society.[4]

Anouska Hempel

Lady Weinberg
Anne Geissler

(1941-12-13) 13 December 1941
New Zealand
ResidenceCole Park, Wiltshire
Holland Park, London, England, United Kingdom
NationalityNew Zealand
Other namesAnoushka Hempel
EducationSutherland High School, New South Wales, Australia
OccupationHotelier and designer
Former actress
Years active1963 to present
Known forDesigner of Blakes Hotel and Hempel Hotel
StyleModern Minimalism
Home townLower Hutt[1]
Spouse(s)Constantine Hempel (widowed)
Bill Kenwright (m. 19781980)
Sir Mark Weinberg (m. 1980)
Children1 son and a daughter

Personal life

Hempel is of Russian and Swiss German ancestry and has mused that she was born on a boat en route from Papua New Guinea to New Zealand.[1] Her father emigrated to New Zealand where she was born.[5] Her family later moved to Cronulla, south of Sydney in Australia, where he owned a garage. As a teenager in the mid-1950s, Hempel attended Sutherland High School. In 1962 she moved to England carrying only £10.[6]

Two years later, she married Constantine Hempel, with whom she had a son and daughter. He was a journalist and property developer who was killed in 1973, crashing his car into a basement in Pimlico.[7] Hempel and her second husband, theatrical producer Bill Kenwright, divorced after two years of marriage in 1980. Later that year, Hempel married financier Sir Mark Weinberg, with whom she has a son, Jonathan.[2] She appears in a photographic portrait by Bryan Wharton on display in the National Portrait Gallery.

Acting career

Hempel's first film appearance was in the Hammer Horror film The Kiss of the Vampire (1963). In 1969, she appeared in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service as one of the "angels of death". Thereafter she appeared in several films including Scars of Dracula (1970), The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971), Go for a Take (1972), Tiffany Jones (1973), Russ Meyer's controversial,[8] soft pornographic film Black Snake (1973),[9] Double Exposure (1977), and Lady Oscar (1979). In the 1970s, Hempel appeared in one episode of the BBC series The Lotus Eaters and she also auditioned for the part of Jo Grant in Doctor Who and appeared in the science-fiction TV series' UFO ("Mindbender" 1970) and Space: 1999 ("The Metamorph" 1976).

Hotel and design career

Hempel is now a hotelier and designer.[10] In 2002, she was ranked by Architectural Digest as one of the top 100 interior designers and architects in the world.[11]


To date, Hempel has established four hotels. Blakes Hotel was created in 1978 as one of the world's first luxury boutique hotels.[9] Based in South Kensington, it is well known for its design, quality of service and privacy.[4] The hotel's restaurant has become a destination in its own right, featuring a fusion of Hempel's own favourite cuisines – Japanese and Italian. Her second hotel, the Hempel Hotel, was noted as a minimalist hotel.[12] Blakes Amsterdam was opened in 1999, drawing inspiration from Amsterdam's historic Dutch East India Company.

Hempel currently works as a silent adviser in her hotel company[4][9] and is working on other hotels in Beirut, Santiago Chile, Lisbon, Istanbul and a new hotel for Baccarat in Rabat. Her showcase hotel "Warapuru" is set in the Brazilian rainforest overlooking the ocean, but opening has been delayed several years. Other recent openings include The Grosvenor House Apartments, on Park Lane and La Suite West in Bayswater, both in London. Blakes Hotel was recently sold to investors, following a renovation by the Anouska Hempel Design there are plans to expand the brand with the second Blakes due to open in Singapore in early 2016.

Other designs

Hempel's restaurant designs range from modern minimalist to theatrical. Her restaurant projects include Shy in Jakarta and Tom Aikens in London. She has designed retail stores for Van Cleef and Arpels(in London, Paris, Monaco, Beverly Hills, Osaka and Geneva) and Louis Vuitton, for whom she designed their flagship Paris store and items such as luxury fountain pens and ballpoint pens with leather and lacquer surface ("doc leather"). Other stores include Henry Cottons in Milan and Lokum in London.

Hempel has also designed two yachts, "Beluga" her own personal yacht, a renovated 10 berth Turkish Gulet which has black sails; and San Lorenzo, a sleek minimal design for a private commission.

Hempel has taken private commissions for homes and landscapes, most recently a garden in honour of Princess Margaret in Oxford.[13][14][15] Her own homes, Cole Park in Wiltshire and a large house in Ennismore Gardens, London, regularly appear in design magazines. Through a boutique in South Kensington, she has designed haute couture clothes for many famous women - including Princess Diana and Princess Margaret of the Royal Family.

Partial filmography


  1. "The Naked Romps of Lady Weinberg". The New Zealand Herald. 25 June 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  2. "IMDB Biography". IMDb. 1 May 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  3. Emma Jacobs (23 March 2012). "At Home: Anouska Hempel". Financial Times.
  4. "Know Your Hoteliers, Part 3". 17 March 2005. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  5. "Lady Weinberg Loses Battle". Questia Online Library. 5 June 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  6. "Hempel of Doom". HighBeam Research. 29 July 2001. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  8. Nigel Watson. "Titillating Russ Meyer". Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  9. "Revenge of the Dominatrix Hotelier". Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  10. "Anouska Hempel – a Woman of Many Firsts". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  11. "Architectural Digest". Architectural Digest. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  12. Glancey, Jonathan (2 October 2006). "Terrace towers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 November 2012. ... the ultra-minimalist, five-star Hempel Hotel
  13. "Oxford Gardens". Archived from the original on 6 June 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  14. "Memorial Garden to Princess Margaret in Oxford". Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  15. "Princess Margaret Memorial Garden opens to public, 21st August". Retrieved 12 November 2017.

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