GOSSIP AND RUMOR . . .Two popular ambassadors are moving on soon. Belgian Ambassador and Mrs. van Cauwenberg have sent out their farewell-Washington party invitations for July 18, to be held at their exquisite embassy residence on fabled Foxhall Road, where land values are calculated by so many thous a square inch. That's where Nelson's and Happy's estate was . . .of course, you do remember the recent snit over subdividing that hallowed property!

Back to Cyprus go Ambassador and Mrs. Dimitriou, who are being honored by scads of parties before they leave. The ambassador says he is going home to stay, not for reassignment . . ."I am a businessman, not a career officer, and my business needs me."

A former Saudi ambassador's wife, Suma Alsowazal, has gone into the silver TV shows and movies and sells them to the Arabs, who are the maddest for our tube stuff. Also, she imports silver from the U.S., Europe and Mexico into Saudi, where its is selling like their OIL would sell over here if we could get hold of any! Suma was seen at the latest Sloane's auction, where the audience looked like they had called the role for El-Richos.

COOKS, LOOK! . . ."NOUVELLE QUISINE" . . .REALLY GREATER? . . .REALLY DIFFERENT? . . .OR A FRENCH EL FAKE-O?

TO THOSE WHO DOUBT, PRAY MARCH TO THE SURGERY-LIKE KITCHEN OF CHEF YANNICK CAM AT LE PAVILLON ON AVENUE DE K AND OBSERVE THE MOVING OUT OF THE GIGANTIC NEVER-TO-BE-REPLACED FREEZER. HE WOULD JUST AS SOON SOMEONE SPIT IN HIS SOUP POT AS FREEZE THE TEENSIEST MORSEL, BEFORE OR AFTER. "FRESH IS THE ESSENCE OF NOUVELLE CUISINE," SAYS HE.

SO ALL OF YOU NOUVEAU GOURMETS GRAB YOUR STRING SACKS AND INTERNATIONAL SAFEWAY IT THREE TIMES A DAY. NEXT, IT WILL BE THE ICE BOX. COME NOW, NO GRIPES. IF ONE IS TO BE A SWELL, ONE REALLY MUST NOUVELLE!

WHITHER GETS THY GAS? . . . As gas lines wrap around block after block, special privileges seem to float away like so much petrol vapor.

In Washington, where your car tag tells WHO you are, everybody sits and waits, no matter what the tag says these days.

Peatsy Hollings, wife of Sen. Fritz Hollings of S.C., says "People glare at your Senate tags and stare at you . . .even saying, 'Fool, why don't you DO something? Listen, I sent Fritz out the other morning at 6:45 to get in line for the 7 open-up. I just got in from sitting in line all morning, so don't anybody tell ME their sad tales. Besides, what can WE do, when NOBODY seems to know what to do. I just heard on the radio that Secretary Schlesinger said all statistics on how much gas we have is a secret . . .A SECRET! Lord Help us."

W. H. SERVANT HALL SLATHER AGAIN! . . .It never ceases, the backstairsian slush from former White housers. Is it not possible for a staffer to walk through the gate for the last time without meeting a literary agent or a "with-author" in Lafayette Square to start on the first chapter?

As Mary Hoyt, Rosalynn Carter's press secretary, said on being asked to comment on the lastest WH-Tell All . . .this time by former head housekeeper, Shirley Bender in the National Enquirer . . ."Oh, my lord . . .its starts again . . .the supposed keyhole tales of the dog handlers, the upstairs maids, the busboys, the yardmen! I can't believe it!" She could also have added former press secretaries to her list.

She hadn't yet seen a current copy of the Enquirer, and when quoted lines about Amy's allegedly being dirty, messy and cruelly treating dog Grits like an outcast . . .and the First Lady being remembered as a cold, haughty, blue-jean clad, barefooted country bumpkin who, with the President, treated the WH staff like a bunch of laborers . . .well, Mary had fits.

"Let me look up something and I'll call you back" she said and did with her records and log books in hand to report that "Mrs. Carter rushed back to the White House, to personally preside at 4:30 at the retirement party she had arranged for Mrs. Bender. She paid the woman every known compliment and showed extreme kindness, staying until the party was over.

"Rosalynn Carter never had any sort of incident with Mrs. Bender. She could't have been kinder to her. There is absolutely no basis for any of these statements."

Hoyt ended by saying she had also checkekd with Rex Scouten, the Chief Usher and he confirmed her memories and records about the retirement party, adding that both Shirley Bender and her husband, the White House pastry chief, had left to accept employment at the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel.

WITH THE BOOK GROUPIES . . .Wednesday was certainly the day to introduce new books, but only if Intimate With Fame, as they say. Otherwise, you don't rate posh parties with booze, celebs, crab legs, quiche, black and green olives and free books for the blessed.

First to the Madison, where the Honored Author was Victor Laski whose latest book "Jimmy Carter The Man and The Myth" was being treated like a bride at her wedding feast by Richard Marek Publishers . . .serving all of the above goodies, plus any others the Madison's chefs could think up.

Gluttonous media guests fell to feast like the locusts they quite naturally are, elbowing out nice polite folks like Anna Chennault, Rose Mary Woods (yes, THAT one), Fred Malek, executive v.p. of Marriott Corp.

Then over to Kramer Books . . .Books facing Connecticut, and a resturant on the other side. Just some cool wine, no ice, no food and for sure no free books! The deb was super TV famous Richard Valeriani pushing his book "Travels with Henry." The Henry being WHO ELSE, Himself the K who, for heaven's sake CAME, and came with NANCY! Of course, this did make up for the lack of freebies, somewhat, particularly for the prols, who had never SEEN Henry.

Right before he and Nanc came in, Mark Hatfield and wife Toni, and Chuck Percy, senators both, came in with a mild stir accompanying. But lord, when HE is coming, who can get torn up over a mere Senator! The Press Attache from the Russian embassy was also there and smiled much more than once.

Valeriani almost lost his head over Henry in the Flesh gracing the occasion, and had eyes or no other when the Ks entered. He kept saying loudly, "Here comes Nancy Poo. . . Here comes Nancy Poo!" My god, you would have thought Valeriani had never seen a famous person before, and we all know he has been hip deep in them for years.

GREAT NIGHT FOR FALLING . . . The opera ball last Friday at the Japanese Embassy was terribly grand and sedate with all the Everyones there, doing nothing different until there, at one end of Peter Duchin's band, a super sedate, gray-haired gent seemed suddenly seized with the savage beat and thrashed out of his tux jacket, Sammy Davised his tie, unbuttoned his waistcoat, threw his arms Nixonward and TOOK OFF.

Man . . . He DANCED! And right in there with him was a good looking, tall lady in a silver beaded peach gown who was certainly no slouch, much more restrained than the coatless swinger off on a mad fandango all his own.

But . . . Woops! . . . The lady's foot slipped and down she went, managing the thud and the splat with unbelievable grace.

She never lost her smile nor her poise . . . Simply sat there in a heap until her gyrating partner finally noticed she was 'way down below eye level . . . located her and proceeded to get her to her feet.

When complimented on grace and gown, Mrs. Lipma Redman merrily said, "I was DETERMINED to have a good time in this dress because it was supposed to be my mother-of-the-groom dress, and the whole thing was called off at the last minute after LOTS of money had been spent by both sides; even a house bought. But better before than after, I suppose.

Former Sen. William Fulbright spent much of the evening, talking to high embassy types, who came to pay respects to this never-been-equaled Senate Foreign Relations chairman, now lawyering in D.C.

Bill said with a touch of sadness, "i don't make foreign affairs speeches, commencement speeches of any other kind much any more because we're in such bad shape abroad and at home there doesn't seem to be any reason to keep trying to put a good face on it." CAPTION: Picture 1, Mary Hoyt, by James A. Parcell - The Washington Post; Picture 2, Amy Carter with Grits, by AP