Moored in the famous and glamorous St. Katherine’s Dock next to historic Tower Bridge London the Flamant Rose is a luxury 100 foot classic yacht. Thought to be the most photographed boat in the marina and the only one of her kind, there is no other like her in the world!
If that wasn’t unique enough, “Flamant Rose (Pink Flamingo) was moored on the Seine in Paris, as well as being her actual base when Edith Piaf was on tour, when the public would be told she was staying at the local best hotel. Marcel Cerdan, the great French boxer, would have been one of the boats most cherished visitors.
Edith's short, but all consuming affair with the great French Boxer ended in tragedy with his accidental death while travelling to see her in America. Though she sang the song “Non, je ne regrette rien” (I have no regrets) shortly after this, in truth, she never fully recovered, but carried on because of her power of personality and courage”.the boat is believed to have been the love boat of France’s most famous singer Edith Piaf at the time she was having an affair with the love of her life French boxing champion Marcel Cerdan. This magnificent riverboat could be found in the inland rivers moored wherever Piaf was performing
It has been called the most photographed boat in the Marina and deservedly so as it is a stunning feature of St Katharine’s Dock. Its hull is iron and around 150 years old which would be extremely difficult, if at all possible, to replicate without the skilled specialists that were so expert with the techniques of riveting in the early days.
Valerie Austin, the boat's current owner commented, "I remember when we actually bought it around 19 years ago. I had arrived in the dock with our beloved Caribbean, Bacchanal, a 40 ft boat to have a pied-àterre in London. My son was in the Marina with his new boat and I wanted to have a place near him. I saw one of the Thames barges for sale at £75,000. It was all kitted out for conferences and as a trainer I thought it a good investment. A girlfriend and I had intentions of setting up a business together.
Fortunately I booked into the hairdressers and met John (who is still in the dock and he and his daughter are great hairdressers) who said I should talk to a friend of his, Colin, before I decided, as he knew simply everything about boats. He also said he had heard whispers that Flamant Rose might come available for sale and that I should make a point of seeing it as it was an extraordinary boat, very unique and exotic. I remember looking down at the boat from the walkway and seeing Colin for the first time. I just couldn’t resist organizing James to come and see this magnificent yacht, as it was so unique and unusual. James came with me to meet Colin but I had no idea he had already spotted Flamant Rose when we sailed into the dock with Bacchanal.
In fact it was his favourite boat; he loves the classical styled boats. After James had a long fascinating conversation with Colin, who had so many wonderful sea stories to tell, Colin looked at me and said, “I know you don’t believe me but your husband loves the boat more than you do.”
I didn’t really believe it but the next thing I knew James had bought it for me to cheer me up. So it truly was a love boat and has been for most of the time since the days when Edith Piaf stayed on it with her lover Marcel."
Since we bought it, it seems to draw people to it that adored Edith Piaf’s music and the boat has such a wonderful happy feeling about it. Either in the morning or the evening I sit in the sitting room surrounded by gold walls and very large round port holes, it is so glamorous whatever the weather or time of day.
And best of all is when we invite people to a party and people always turn up and we have the most extraordinary guests. Without fail, everyone who visits the boat remarks on how elegant and beautiful she is.