Francesca Packer drops $9000 on new family addition
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Francesca Packer drops $9000 on new family addition

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Publishing heiress Francesca Packer-Barham may have called it quits with her shoe-cleaner-cum-personal trainer boyfriend Sam Zacharia, but she has no intention of enduring Sydney's (recently) miserable weather on her lonesome.

Francesca Packer Barham was seen purchasing a $9000 pooch in a Bondi Junction pet store.

Francesca Packer Barham was seen purchasing a $9000 pooch in a Bondi Junction pet store.

Last week Emerald City spied the 25-year-old decked out in diamonds and activewear (as you do) while puppy shopping at Room 4 Pets at Westfield Bondi Junction.

The daughter of Gretel and granddaughter of the late media mogul Kerry Packer was accompanied by her hairdresser and new bestie Jacki Mann as the pair enjoyed cuddle time with handbag-sized designer dogs.

Packer-Barham is understood to have splashed $9000 on a female "cavoodle" - a trendy cross of a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a miniature poodle popular with Sydney families - at the Bondi Junction pet store on Thursday afternoon.

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Emerald City is told Packer-Barham has acquired a total of eight pups over the years, only to give them away. A four figure dog is loose change for the design student, who, as our sister column Private Sydney recently revealed, forked out half a million dollars on an emerald cut diamond at a Leonard Joel jewellery auction.

Georgia Fowler will spend Cup Day at GH Mumm's Sydney soiree.

Georgia Fowler will spend Cup Day at GH Mumm's Sydney soiree.Credit:James Alcock

Cup day celebrations to go on despite pandemic

It may be the race that stops the nation, but with COVID restrictions in Victoria forbidding spectators trekking to Flemington for this year's Spring Racing Carnival, it is set to be a racing season to remember - or perhaps forget.

Aussie A-listers will miss out on the traditional corporate opulence of the wild and wonderful Birdcage marquee, where they are waited on hand and foot as they pretend to show interest in horses. Avant garde champagne house G.H. Mumm, known for its roaring marquee atmosphere and exclusive guest list, will instead host champagne showers at Sydney Harbour venue Pier One on Tuesday.

Model Georgia Fowler, television presenter Kate Peck and ex-Olympic swimmer Michael Klim will provide the star power for the occasion, and Klim's DJ girlfriend Michelle Owen will be on the decks.

Across the bridge, racing royalty Gai Waterhouse is looking forward to watching the Cup at her lower north shore home alongside friends, and dining on a food hamper created by chef Neil Perry courtesy of the Victoria Racing Club.

While her son and bookie Tom Waterhouse said it was business as usual at his punting empire this racing season, his wife Hoda and sister Kate will likely get together and crash Gai's intimate soiree.

Shoe designer and racing ambassador Jasmine Stefanovic and TV husband Karl hosted a lavish lunch on Saturday for Derby Day for their circle of celebrity pals, but they will leave Cup Day hosting duties to friends.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne hospitality giants and longtime Birdcage caterers Bruce and Chyka Keebaugh of The Big Group won't be run off their feet trackside this year. Instead the couple will host their packaging heiress and philanthropist friend Heloise Pratt and rocker Jon Stevens at their latest venture, the Commons at Ormond Collective, which opened last week.

Melbourne's newest venue The Commons is where hospitality giants Bruce and Chyka Keebaugh will host Cup Day celebrations.

Melbourne's newest venue The Commons is where hospitality giants Bruce and Chyka Keebaugh will host Cup Day celebrations.Credit:Marcel Aucar

Sydney swept up in reality series

Danish-Israeli model and actress Lee Levi made headlines after her fiance, philanthropist Eitan Neishlos, threw her an extravagant surprise engagement party at Bennelong in Sydney last year. But in recent months the blonde has been working on her own secret television project.

Emerald City understands Levi, 27, is hosting and producing digital TV series The Social for the Australian Online News Network, featuring interviews with some of Australia's most successful social media influencers.

The first episode showcases MKR breakout-star Jordan Bruno confessing he had his first gay sexual experience at 14 with an older man, who took advantage of him after struggling with his sexuality. He also admits he slept with 100 people after becoming a household name on My Kitchen Rules. The Social is understood to have been months in the making with a small crew working to get Levi’s passion project off the ground in COVID-safe conditions.

Lee Levi and her fiance Eitan Neishlos at their Sydney soiree last year.

Lee Levi and her fiance Eitan Neishlos at their Sydney soiree last year.Credit:Chloe Paul

Meanwhile the new real estate reality show Emerald City wrote about recently has been spied filming around the Harbour City. Cue flashy real estate agents glued to their phones, throw in a few older cashed up guys with corporate babes hanging off their arms and finally bring in a rented superyacht (Anthony Bell’s $20 million Ghost II, to be exact) and it looks like it will be an entertaining insight into how the two per centers live in Sydney.

A few episodes in and arguments and negotiations are said to be going off like a frog in a sock, however, it can’t be the agents' socks as they weren’t wearing any when filming was underway on Friday. A local spy said eastern suburbs realtor Gavin Rubenstein was in his element when he fronted cameras looking like Charlie from Charlie's Angels amid the stand-in babes.

Cricket star linked to Melbourne model

Sydney Sixers newest recruit Dan Christian has recently begun dating headline-making model Lucy McIntosh. The former Melbourne Renegades player is understood to have split from his wife of two years Deanna twelve months ago and began dating McIntosh in the last three months. Things must be serious, as the Melbourne model-cum-pilates instructor was willing to spend two weeks in quarantine in Sydney just so she could visit her T20 beau. She was released from quarantine a few days ago.

Cricketer Dan Christian quietly separated from his wife a year ago and is now dating a former Project Runway contestant.

Cricketer Dan Christian quietly separated from his wife a year ago and is now dating a former Project Runway contestant.Credit:Getty

McIntosh starred on Project Runway in 2009 and has been linked to a string of high-profile men including Black Eyed Pea DJ Jaime Munson, music producer Russell Simmons and US nightclub mogul Mark Houston. Her relationship with Houston was marred by controversy, with McIntosh claiming he caused her "physical and emotional" damage. Houston denied the allegations and sued McIntosh for defamation. Houston's case was later dropped, and McIntosh never pursued her complaint.

Model Lucy McIntosh is dating Sydney Sixers player Dan Christian.

Model Lucy McIntosh is dating Sydney Sixers player Dan Christian.Credit:Instagram

A spokesperson for Christian said his client did not wish to comment on his personal life.

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