I've always wondered why some restaurants become known as the "in" places to go. I don't make a habit of frequenting them generally, but I've eaten at a fair few of them and most tend not to live up to expectations. It seems to me that you go to these restaurants to either be seen or see who else is there. There's a lot of "mwah mwahing" going on, with people uettering inanities like "haven't seen you since Mustique, dahling, OK, yah!" The Ivy is one such place and today I had lunch at another, Le Caprice.
The food wasn't bad, and the company was superb - my lunch partner was the irrepressible Gyles Brandreth - but the whole place had a slightly superior air about it. I don't think I got off to the best of starts when I asked to be sat at a table with a power point next to it. The Maitre d' looked down his nose and sniffed, "I'm afraid we don't have one of those." "No, no," I replied. "I don't want to plug my laptop in, I want to charge my phone.". "I suppose I could take it down to the orfice," he kindly offered. Much as I enjoyed my lunch with Gyles, I do think I feel more at home in the Kennington Cafe next to our office in Kennington Lane. Hey ho.