Paul McCartney, who married New Jersey heiress Nancy Shevell on October 9, is “getting by with a little help from his friends.”
Well, getting by is a bit of an understatement. After tying the knot on what would have been John Lennon’s 71st birthday, McCartney and Shevell are actually “living big” on their honeymoon at Mick Jagger’s Japanese-style, six-bedroom home in Mustique.
Since paparazzi are banned from this privately-owned island, the happy couple are enjoying some down time far from headlines. Their small family wedding, held on the steps of London’s Marylebone Register Office, the same place McCartney married Linda, included 30 some family members who showered the engaged-since-May couple with rose petals. Beatrice, McCartney’s daughter with Heather Mills, was the flower girl and Stella, his daughter with Linda, designed the wedding dress. And in true, Paul McCartney fashion, he sang a beautiful ballad for his new bride.
As for the private honeymoon at fellow musician’s Mustique retreat, McCartney and bride are enjoying the koi pond, the pavilions and the roar of the ocean that back up to the rambling villa.
And, of course, they’ve been unable to resist a stop-off at Basil’s Bar, the former rum shack where everyone from Prince William (he drank Prince’s Poison and, with a couple friends, belted out Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds”) to the Beckhams (no report on their drink of choice) have knocked back a cocktail or two.
With little more than 500 or so permanent residents, this exclusive island, a short 50-minute flight from Barbados, became a hotspot for the glitterati after Scottish aristocrat Colin Tennant, who bought the whole island in 1958, presented Princess Margaret with a 10-acre parcel of it as a wedding present.
It was also Tennant that gave Basil Charles, the now well-known owner of Basil’s Bar, his start. Born to a poor family on nearby St. Vincent’s, Charles was hired by Tennant in the 60’s as a barman at the Cotton House, at that time, the island’s only hotel. Charles, who was able to charm the mercurial Tennant, ended up marrying British aristocrat Virginia Lyon Royston soon after her husband died unexpectedly in 1973, chumming around with Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon and eventually buying out the open-faced beach club that today reigns as the heartbeat of Mustique night life.
Like the McCartneys, most guests to Mustique rent out private villas, mostly-owned by people whose names you’d recognize. More like compounds than villas, these pricy properties come with between two to nine bedrooms, a full staff including a butler and a “mule,” the island term for a golf cart which is how people get around the three by one-mile island.
Others who have enjoyed Mustique’s laidback vibe include Hugh Grant, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Paul Newman, Amy Winehouse and about every pedigreed royal in the United Kingdom. At Christmas, Jagger has even been known to dress like an elf and pass out treats to needy kids.