Dress-down diplomacy at Winfield House

Model behaviour: Cara Delevingne and Taylor Swift strike a pose at Winfield House

Society magazine Tatler has ranked US Ambassador Matthew Barzun and his wife Brooke as London’s most “desirable party guests” beating Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron to the top spot.

Diplomacy’s young power couple are quite a departure from their patrician predecessors and they know how to throw a great party.

One of the US Ambassador’s recent initiatives is the ‘Winfield House Sessions’, a series of intimate gigs at his Regent’s Park digs.

The first session saw Barzun unveil the ultimate diplomatic weapon – a Gibson J-120 guitar that once belonged to Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave.

Speaking to the select group of A-List guests (which included Princess Beatrice as well as US singer-songwriter Damien Jurado), he said: “The American folk singer Woody Guthrie had ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’ engraved on his guitar in 1943 and the singer Pete Seeger had ‘This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender’ engraved on his, in a sort of reply. So, in that tradition, we are naming this guitar The Peacemaker.”

Recently the blogosphere was buzzing when British supermodel Cara Delevingne and musos Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift Tweeted images of their impromptu jamming session at another Winfield House soirée, while striking Washingtonian poses.

The dress code is strictly casual: “jeans in, pearls out” say the invitations.

But the Ambassador can be old school too. At the most recent session, he put out a set of turntables out for guests, who were also given a choice of two boxes of vinyl, one decorated with the Union Jack (with the Clash, the Stones and so on), the other with the Stars and Stripes (with Johnny Cash, Prince etc).

The Ambassador turned out to be a natural on the decks. Clearly the man is a master at spin.