Seeing the world completely differently…

Nusrat Ghani
BRIGHT-EYED: Celebrity Chef Rosemary Shrager

When it comes to confidence celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager is positively bubbling over with it. But as she recently revealed in the press, she’s been suffering from an eye condition that had started to chip away at her trademark cheery nature – until she found the solution at Bella Vou clinic on The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells.

The popular cook and TV personality – who has starred in shows as diverse as Ladette to Lady, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and The Real Marigold Hotel, and published numerous recipe books over the years – recently underwent specialist eyelid lifting surgery known as ‘Upper Blepharoplasty’. The reason for this, she tells me, was to correct persistently heavy eyelids which caused huge discomfort and affected her everyday life.


The tops of my eyelids fell down and were very uncomfortable and made my eyes very sticky”


“The tops of my eyelids fell down and were very uncomfortable and made my eyes very sticky. I wanted to put matchsticks in them to keep my eyelids up it was that bad – and, in fact, because of this condition you couldn’t see my eyes at all,” she explains at our interview in the luxury reception area of Bella Vou.

Hooded, or drooping eyelids are a common problem, especially as one ages. They are caused by a weakening of muscle (known as ptosis) or excess skin, fat or muscle in the eyelid area (known as dermatochalasis).

Rosemary, who presented fun cookalongs every week on Facebook during lockdowns, decided that something had to be done about this when her eyes constantly streamed during filming. Therefore she decided to ask leading local plastic surgeon Amir Nakhdjevani at Bella Vou clinic for his advice.

The state-of-the-art clinic offers clients a uniquely individual approach to cosmetic surgery, providing the very latest surgical, cosmetic and aesthetic treatments to clients from all over the UK.

“I’d done my research: I knew Amir’s reputation as he is one of the top surgeons in the country, and the great thing is the clinic is on our doorstep. So I came in and explained my issue and he understood completely,” Rosemary says.

ROSEMARY WITH THE BELLA VOU TEAM: (l-r) Ritu Valecha, Ann Green, Noula Friend and Amir Nakhdjevani

Amir told the chef, who until recently ran her own cookery school just next door to Bella Vou, that the condition was known as upper eyelid overhang and suggested a quick and easy solution to the problem –Upper Blepharoplasty surgery.

“The whole procedure lasted no more than 40 minutes and was a bit like going to the dentist,” laughs Rosemary. “I arrived at the clinic, sat in the chair, had my local anaesthetic, and then the next thing I knew Amir was telling me to open my eyes.

“It really was a revelation, as before the operation my eyes were really slitty and I found it so hard to keep them open. Yet here I was after a short period of time able to properly see for the first time. It was absolutely incredible!

“It has made me feel so much more confident. My eyes are open, you can see that I have blue eyes, which are my best asset,” she giggles – clearly still ecstatic with the results of the operation, which was done in March.

“And for the first time I can put make-up on! I’m really loving that – especially on photo shoots.”

Rosemary adds that she was at a recent one for the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine in order to publicise her forthcoming stint on ITV’s Cooking With The Stars, which begins next Tuesday [July 13] at 9pm and sees celebrities paired with professional chefs who will take them from passionate amateur to restaurant-level cooks.

“It was such a pleasure to sit in that make-up chair. I said to the lady doing my face ‘go for my eyes, go for my eyes. I want everyone to see my eyes!’ The make-up artist then very kindly sent me all these amazing products through the post, including my own personalised brushes from a company in Italy!

“I really wish I’d had done this years ago, and would say to anyone with the same problem to go ahead and do it.”

ITV’S UPCOMING COOKING WITH THE STARS: Rosemary is one of the professional mentors

Rosemary does admit, however, that she was a little apprehensive prior to the procedure.

“It’s a delicate area, so understandably I was nervous, but actually Amir and his team made me feel very comfortable so it was fine. I was so desperate to have it done that I was willing to go through anything – even my eyelids being slit!”

Rosemary needn’t have worried as she says straight after the operation Amir said ‘look’, and she certainly liked what she saw.

“I couldn’t believe I could actually see my eyes! It has such an immediate impact on my life! Of course there was some bruising, and it took a week to heal completely, but it was such a good result and I cannot recommend it enough. It has genuinely changed my life, and the good news is my eyes will get better and better.”

Amir says that this kind of reaction from clients who have this procedure done is very common.

“We do this operation pretty much daily, and when people have this kind of surgery they can’t believe the results. It’s not big but it has a huge impact. No one knows you’ve had it done but it makes you look less tired, you look refreshed.”

The talented surgeon goes on to say that not all of his colleagues in the world of plastic surgery carry out facial work as it is so ‘intricate’.

“You have to make sure the scar sits in the right place so when the eyes open it is hidden. Not every cosmetic surgeon does this type of work. They do tummy or breast operations but not facial work because it’s so intricate, and if you get it wrong everyone can see and you can destroy someone’s life.”

Rosemary, who has a new series of murder mystery novels coming out early next year, adds: “It’s a huge responsibility when you think of it like that, but then Amir is the best and I had total faith in him. He has given me my confidence back, and so doing all these photo shoots for the new ITV show and my new books is a revelation as I can wear make-up now. I’m so excited!”

The first of Rosemary’s novels is entitled ‘The Last Supper’ and is available to pre-order on Amazon ahead of its publication next March.

“I write under the name Prudence Bulstrode, but it’s to do with food and many of my experiences in life,” she reveals. “I’ve got to promote my new book and travel around the country doing TV and literary festivals and it’s a totally different world now thanks to this surgery.

“It’s so small but it makes you feel so much more confident because I know it also makes me look younger – which is very important!”

Find out more about the Upper Eyelid Surgery offered by Bella Vou, or alternatively book your complimentary consultation, by calling 01892 257357.

To find out more about Rosemary’s story, visit:


About Upper Blepharoplasty

Upper Eyelid Surgery, or Upper Blepharoplasty is an operation to treat excess skin and sagging of the upper eyelids – which is often hereditary and part of the ageing process.

Heavy eyelids can cause physical discomfort, impair your vision and make you look tired when you’re not, and Upper Blepharoplasty can help to ease this by lifting, smoothing, and refreshing the skin above the eyes for a more open, well-rested and youthful appearance.

Treats: Heaviness and sagging skin above the eye

Anaesthesia: Local anaesthetic

Duration: 1-2 hours

Hospital stay: No

Recovery: 1 week



Cooking With The Stars Photo: © ITV/NickyJohnston

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