Friday, 25 February 2011

Fancy Interviews



Fancy is in a bad mood. Maybe you noticed. I’m stressed to the gills with a work assignment and H pointed out last night that “the house looks it.” Thanks. You would think that a couple of nannies and a housekeeper could keep up with the destructive forces of my husband and my children. (I’m not to blame. I’ve been holed up in my office upstairs, not brushing my teeth until 4 in the afternoon but also not generating any sort of mess.)

It’s not work that has me in a foul mood. It’s that I’m going to have to interrupt my flow this morning to interview a new Nanny. And spend my Saturday meeting girls that are closer in age to my toddlers than myself and try to decide if any of them are capable of walking in and dealing with those two monkeys without simultaneously annoying the crap out of me.

Oh I should point out that Nanny #1 is leaving. Yes, the dirty nappies tucked into the drawer were a clear sign. If I weren’t such a moron I would have realized it sooner. Sigh.

Why don’t I think this is fun? Because it’s a crapshoot. I can meet someone and think she is wonderful only to realize after hiring her that she never stops talking and has an obsession with chocolate eclairs and Bollywood.

Then there are those that never make it to stage 2. Last summer the agency sent over a girl for the Weekend Nanny position. She arrived 20 minutes late, which didn’t do her any favors. But then our conversation went like this:

“So, what do the girls do during the week? I mean, do they go to a nursery?”

I looked at her blankly. “They have a Nanny.”

“Oh,” she said, with a look of total surprise. “You have two Nannies?”

“Three,” I replied dryly. “We have someone still coming at night right now.”

She actually snorted here. The nail in her coffin was coming next. “Oh my God! You have three Nannies?! Ha ha ha!!”

That’s right, my dear. Word of advice. When someone without a full-time job is looking for a Weekend Nanny, you’re probably not going to be the only hired help.

Obviously she didn’t get the job. Instead I hired a very sweet girl who is “afraid to go into John Lewis. It’s soooo overwhelming!” but at least keeps reminding me that I need to make sure I have enough rest and “me time.”

Wish me luck. I’m going out there and getting myself the Mary Fucking Poppins of Nannies. No matter how much I hate it. 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A Fancy Throwdown!



It’s restaurant time again. And Fancy is mad. Listen world, I’m a busy person. I don’t have time to waste. And if BBC’s Olive magazine tells me that a restaurant is worth a trip, I’m going. Especially if Time Out calls it one of this year’s Top 50 (a list we’re going to work through together kids!). But let me tell you, it had better deliver or I’m going all Fancy on its ass. Indulge me, if you will, in my public countering of Gregg Wallace’s (MasterChef!) review of Les Deux Salons.

Now that it’s all the rage, it’s nearly impossible to get a reservation on a weekend. However, I’m nothing if not persistent. So H and I handed the kids off to our trusty evening sitter (I miss my Night Nanny!) and marched on down to Covent Garden, expecting great things. Gregg tells us that the place is so “fantastic looking” because it’s “so French it almost sells you an onion.” Okay, that’s clever, Gregg. But I’m not at fucking Waitrose. I’m here to get fed. Moving on.

“Nothing wrong with the service that a bit of confidence won’t put right,” reports our trusty Professional Critic. Really? Really? Then why was sitting with H like being on the tarmac at Heathrow? His arms were constantly waving over his head (he’s not exactly subtle nor does he give a crap what anyone thinks), trying to get our waiter’s –or anyone’s for that matter—attention. I require ample booze with my meal and I need a waiter who is respectful of my needs. Water too. Needed more water. Shouldn’t have to ask twice, let alone a third time. Chop, chop people.

When it comes to the food, Gregg confesses that he was dining out with his fellow MasterChef judge, John Torode and they were recognized. Well that could explain why his service was only lacking “confidence,” while ours was downright neglectful. And might also be the reason why he called their food “brilliant” while H and I were fighting over the salt-shaker. Okay, maybe it’s my own fault. I tend to order lighter than a snail and bacon pie but again, simple shouldn’t be that hard. In fact, I made it ridiculously simple for these people. Steak tartare. It’s a French bistro. If they can’t get that right, what in God’s name is going on in that kitchen? It doesn’t even require cooking. Crikey.

Gregg’s verdict? He looks “forward to this place become iconic” with its “excellent” food and service that “is almost there.” He gave it a whopping 26/30 and says he’s going again, probably as early as next week.

The Fancy verdict? Yawn. Thank you, Olive, for ensuring that I will be able to get a table at any one of the neighbouring Fancy Covent Garden restaurants any time I want thanks to your glowing review of a place that I'm not itching to return to. Sure, maybe it was an off night. Maybe it’s because our waitress was Canadian. (They are quite relaxed over there, aren’t they?) But I’ve only got so many calories to eat in this lifetime and I’ve got to be choosy about where I use them.  The Fancy Score? 11/30. 1 for food. 8 for ambiance. 2 for service. Because the Canadians are really nice people and I’m sure she meant well.

Next?

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Fancy Win!



When I was 10 we had to write a report about an artist. I chose Renoir. A week after we turned in our projects, our teacher stood before the class. He had a stack of various coloured folders on his desk. Actually 2 separate piles. Everyone else had done the usual 3-5 pages that a 5th grader would realistically produce when asked to write about some dead dude and his frescoes. My report, however, hovered around the 25 page mark, including several Xeroxed copies of his work with my own annotations.

And then as an adult, I decided that I would learn to speak H’s native language. He said that was the stupidest idea he’d ever heard (“They all speak English there!”) but I figured that it would show him how madly in love I was. And also show my Future In-Laws what a great choice I was for H. (As if being of legal drinking age and able to read and write weren’t already huge improvements over the last chickadee he’d brought home. Anyway.)

So I did. Language tapes, satellite TV, children’s books, weeks at immersion schools, private tutors. At one point I’d enrolled in a group class in our neighbourhood. I was completely out of practice when I took the entrance exam and was placed in a class far below my level but since I like being The Best, I didn’t really say anything. And then they gave us our pre-term exams. You know, so you could see how improved you were at the end of the semester.  Except instead of the exam intended for my class, they accidentally handed out the exams for the next year up. You know what happened, right? Ever had a bunch of middle-aged women chase you to the classroom door, hands waving and singing “Bye bye!” Yeah.

Anyway, the thing about being the Teacher’s Pet is that the other students don’t always love you. They don’t bother even trying to compete with you. They just ignore you or put obnoxious stickers on your back that say “Kick Me.” Trust me. They do. 

And that, my friends, is how many of you probably felt when you saw Kate Takes 5’s blog post about her inner Fancy. In fact, she’s completely Fancy. It’s just  better management of her staff that she needs to work on. I think a tiara would seriously help let them know who’s boss. So, from the Journal Of The Obvious, we have a Giveaway winner. C’mon my little overachiever, walk up to the podium and accept your prize. Job well done!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Fancy Gifts


Like I said, a lot of Fancy Therapy time goes into learning how to help H not be a dope. FT wanted to know what H got me for Valentine’s. I actually peed myself. “Are you joking?” I asked Rainman. Here’s what our “gift exchange” was like:

With great ado, I reached into my bag while we were waiting for our starters. I handed him an envelope marked #1. “Do you know where this is?”
“Uh, England. I’m saying England.” That’s a reasonable guess. Fine.

“Number 2?”

“That’s a cooking course! I’m going on a cooking course!” Brilliant.

"Okay, Fine. Still no clue? Here's #3."

“Wow! Am I going to Raymond Blanc’s cooking school? I didn’t even know he had one.”

“Not just that! We’re going for the whole weekend! We’re eating in his restaurant twice and cooking all morning. I got us a suite. And the kids are staying in London with the Nannies!” (I actually had booked a 2nd room for Nanny #2 but realized that asking her to come with us and spend 2 days chasing toddlers around a Fancy Hotel is just mean. She’d rather be home, where the baby gates and high chairs are, don’t you think? We’re only an hour away for heaven’s sake.)

“That’s a great present. Oh that’s going to be really, really awesome. Thanks!”

Sitting back I waited, knowing what was coming but needing him to say it.
“And me?”

“Um, I have an idea! Why don’t you come with me on the course?” he exclaimed with almost believable surprise at his sudden brilliance.

“Dude. It’s a romantic weekend away. I’m going with you, by definition.”

 “Ha. Well then I guess it’s really a gift for both of us isn’t it? How about I pay for your half and that’s my gift.” And then with a look of complete self-satisfaction he tucked into his terrine.

FT has a lot of work to do, hasn’t he?

By the way, don't let Kate's amazing post put you off! The Giveaway is still open through the weekend. Show me your Fancy!



Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Fancy Therapy Episode #65783



Fancy Therapist and I were having our usual chat, mulling over how we can make H into the man that we both know is inside him, just under the surface. The benefit of being Fancy is that self-realization and self-discipline aren’t at the core of change: it’s about figuring out ways to pay others to give us insight and whip our butts into shape. As we talk, FT is forever taking notes. On his list for the week is to inform H about something amazing called “The Internet” where one can buy his wife gifts without actually leaving the sofa. You would think he would have already figured this out, but whatever.

On my list for the week is to find a super Fancy Personal Trainer for H. If he can’t come to terms with the reality that he will never get himself to the gym without a serious motivation (called wasted cash), then I will do it for him. He promised that if he hadn’t made a serious change in his physical health by the end of the month, he’d “try” having a trainer. And the way things are going, well. FT said, “If he went every day all day from now until then, he’d still fail. Hire the fucking trainer.”

At the end of our session, Fancy Therapist, said, “You know, I read your blog and it was hilarious. My wife kept asking me what I was looking at, I was laughing so loud.”

“Gosh, thanks!” I said, completely humbled. Or maybe “humbled” isn’t the word. More like “shocked’ that he spent time on my life and hadn’t charged me for it.

“No really, terrific! I think I smell a screen play. But when that happens, I want you to know something. Robert Redford plays me. Do you hear me? Robert Redford. Not that Dustin Fucking Hoffman guy. Robert Redford.”

What was I saying about reality? 

By the way, it's still GIVEAWAY time! You've got until Sunday night to get yourself some Fancy! Just tell me how a little Fancy on the outside would let your inner Fancy shine!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sharing The Fancy: A Giveaway!



Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve been killing myself as to what to get all of you, but I think I’ve settled it.

It’s time to spread the love, don’t you think? I have decided that I, Frau Fancy, will take it upon myself to help a lucky one of you become a bit more Fancy. We can take this in stages. I’m not expecting you to get to my level right away. I mean, it takes a lot of time to learn to be Fancy. But, maybe I can help get you started.

I need to hear from those of you who are Fancy inside but just need a little help to bring your outside up to speed. Maybe you spend all day planning flight routes for your imaginary private jet? Do you practice scolding your imaginary Nanny in the mirror? Do you put on a wig and adopt an Eastern European accent while scrubbing your toilet? I want to hear from you!

If you make me laugh the hardest, you will advance to Round 2. If you make H laugh even harder, you advance to Round 3. Then I go all “Vegas” on you and pull a name from my final contestants. Shortly after that, you will be receiving:

  • ·      One tiara. Not real. Don’t be silly. But still Fancy. Wear it to the grocery if you’d like. Then everyone will know you are Fancy. (Or completely insane. Be careful!)
  • ·      One UK ring sizer. Because every Fancy Woman knows what size her diamond finger is!
  • ·      Eyeshades and ear plugs, compliments of an airline. Because no Fancy woman should be disturbed while sleeping.
  • ·      A jar or truffle salt. It’s truly fantastic. And Fancy. Trust me.
  • ·      Oh, anything else I might find and decide to toss in.  You never know.

Rules: you’ve got a week. I’ll need to make sure I can contact you, so either leave a link to your own blog or have a Google Follower Account or something. Don’t make me hire someone to come and find you! And dig deep, folks. Make me giggle. x

Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post. No one gives me anything. You can't sponsor a Fancy. It's just me, wanting to share the joy. Because I care.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Fancy Some Lunch?



As promised, let’s take a trip today to The Fat Duck. For those of you who haven’t had the privilege, The Fat Duck is Heston Blumethal’s little project, a 3 Michelin starred joint in Bray. To get a reservation, one must begin calling exactly at 10am 3 months to the day prior to your desired visit date. It’s very straightforward. Just pick up the phone and give them a jingle. After approximately 75 minutes and 150 redials, they’ll answer. It goes like this:

“Hi, I’d like to make a reservation for 4 in May.”

“Of course. You will be attending lunch service at noon.  May I have a credit card for a nonrefundable deposit?” will be the reply.

So that’s how it is.

Once you find the joint (which isn’t that hard since it’s one of 2 buildings in town), you’ll be welcomed by a staff that outnumbers the diners and shown to your table. There is only one sitting, which means the table is yours for the duration. In our case, that meant 5 hours.

At the time we visited, there was a “tasting menu” option and one could choose a wine by the glass (ha ha haaaa!!), bottle (better), or “bottomless” paired selections. Yes please. But it gets better; there are two pairing options. On our visit, I had just finished yet another unsuccessful round of IVF. We went with the more expensive of the two lists. However, I resisted the temptation to bring out a straw or suggest they use my 1L water bottle as a wine vessel. My uterus sucks.

Then begins the parade of food. My memory here is all a bit hazy, sort of like the frozen air we started with. There was a dish that looked like the ocean, I remember that, because we had to wear little headphones and listen to seagulls while eating. (I’m dead serious. You cannot make this shit up.) I was sort of lost with the smoking peat meant to “scent” my food during another course. Licorice with salmon? Surprisingly good. But the snail porridge? Sorry. It wasn’t a snail issue. I love snails. But they do it better at Blue Ribbon in New York. (The original, not Sushi or Bakery)

I have to admit, the food is overwhelming, in sort of a “am I smart enough to understand what he’s trying to do here” kind of way. But 48 gazillion gallons of booze probably also contributes to the confusion. They are not stingy with those glasses. That is really refreshing! I hate being in a place where they pour you a sip at a time and then take away the bottle. It actually gives me hives. Thank God I’m married to a man who could give a shit and tells them to “just leave that there, thank you.” But The Fat Duck takes care of its winos, I can tell you that.

Anyway, about 5 hours later, you’ll stumble back outside, probably clutching a signed cookbook that you bought in a moment of drunk “what the hell.” Like I’m ever going to cook anything from there. In your other hand, you’ll have your credit card receipt. I don’t want to tell you. It was the most expensive lunch of my life, and that is saying something. ($2000 at a sushi bar? Been there.)

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed your trip to Chef Blumethal’s beautiful little restaurant. If you want to go for real, let me know. I’m dying to go back. Just to see what happens if you order a la carte and limit your wine consumption to, oh, 2 bottles a person. On the other hand, hope you enjoy your new kitchen addition, because that is what Mrs. Fancy just saved you through her act of selfless sacrifice. Where are we going next?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

My Valentine’s Wish List


What do you wish for when money isn’t the issue? I’m reading all these wonderful Listographies and see a theme: flowers, Tiffany’s, a housekeeper. What if you already have that? What do you get Mrs. Fancy for Valentine’s Day?

My youth. No bunions. No wrinkles. Breasts that perkily look toward the sky, not my socks. Oh yes, I know all of this can be surgically corrected. But that would hurt. And render me useless to my family. So I have to wait until the girls are older, painkillers are stronger and H magically becomes more independent.

A metabolism. I don’t love having to go the gym all the time. Couldn’t I have a few months off? Or could someone invent a magic pill that I could take once I get myself in really good shape and it would keep me that way? I would work out 4 hours a day for that.

Fertility. Okay this one, I’m actually torn on. If H and I hadn’t had to climb that mountain on our road to parenthood, well we wouldn’t have these girls. But I’m nearing the midpoint of my life. Do I even try? Can I really be okay, looking back at my life, and know that I was never part of the pregnancy club? It’s hard, putting back cocktails with the girls and listening to them moan about their C-section scars and incontinent bladders and not want to smack each of them firmly across the mouth. Then again, my belly is flat as a board and I don’t leak. Hmmm. Still thinking about this one.

A day without guilt. Is there such a thing after you become a mother? I’m guilty when I’m not with them because I should be, shouldn’t I? I am guilty when I’m with them because I should be content to sit on the floor making animal sounds for hours on end, right? I feel guilty when other mothers talk about how amazing it is that I can manage two toddlers, get my makeup on and cook a 3-course meal. I have 2 Nannies, people. It’s not that hard.  I am guilty all the bloody time. It’s exhausting.

And finally, I would like to rid the world of stupid people. Especially the stupid, arrogant kind. There’s lot’s of them. Itwould save my sanity and the planet.

Okay, there’s my list. Is there a place I can register for all this or what? 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fancy Eating



I’ve promised you the ultimate sacrifice: my dining experiences can become your dining experiences. But without the calories, expensive bill, babysitter to pay or 45 minutes on the phone trying to sort out a reservation! Lucky you! I was going to start by telling you about my trip to The Fat Duck.

But then my pal over at Modern Dilemma requested a trip to a Beefeaters or a Harvester for a Fancy opinion. I don’t know what those are. I had to look it up. My nearest Beefeater is in Ilford. I also don’t know where that is. What will it cost me to get a car service over there, have the driver wait, and then bring me home? I didn’t figure this into the equation. Never mind. I’m sure I’ll save enough at dinner to more than make up for it.

Okay, so checking it out online, let’s go for the wine list first. I’m sure I’ll be needing some booze to help soften the sting of pleather against my skin.  Ooh! “Pinot Grigio, Italy!” I don’t know that label. Is that a Rothschild project? It must be really good if they can just claim total ownership of a grape. At least they can confirm a 12% alcohol content. That’s good. I’ll be needing that.

On to the food. I appreciate the breadth of the chef’s knowledge of world cuisine. Koftas, potato “shells,” baked Camembert, chimichurri sauce. Wow. I can go from the Middle East to the UK, and then connect in Paris on my way to Argentina. But that would mean I am flying Air France. Which I just can’t do. They have middle seats in business class.

Okay, focus. Grass fed beef! That’s a surprise. Good, good. Not sure that an “unmistakable, extra special Beefeater Grill taste” is a desirable thing, but what do I know? I’m confused, however, by the description of the steaks. Soft? Like a pillow? Do you mean tender? And what chef on God’s Green Earth would ever recommend a steak to be served well done? Christ, might as well just serve me up his shoe. But maybe it doesn’t matter, because I can choose from a myriad of sauces to accompany that “unmistakable” flavour. Blue cheese and jalapeno, mint and rum. What’s a girl to do?

Wait, what the hell is a Giant Chicken? Skewered, nonetheless. I understand Giant Prawn. But chicken?Is that some kind of horrible genetically modified poultry? I’m sorry, I’m out of here. Fancy needs to pay attention to what goes into her Fancy self. I need to find my driver. Oh, but I’ll be taking that bottle of Pinot Grigio with me. And a straw.

Can we go back to The Fat Duck, please?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Mr. Fancy: Time To Up Your Game


On my way out of the gym the other day, one of the anorexic little girls working there handed me a “heart healthy” checklist. I was to review all the categories and see where I could make some changes. Well that is simple. I’m a Fancy Wife. By definition, I have to make every effort to outlive my husband and look good for my next one, a handsome young man who probably hasn’t been born yet. My heart is fine. But I thought H should have a look, so I brought it home and tried to answer all the questions from his perspective before posting it on the fridge. Here goes:

  • Age: Doing okay here. Under 45. By a hair. Which is about all he has on his head, by the way. One hair. Next.
  • Family History: Okay here. My mother-in-law will probably never die.
  • Smoking: Nope. That’s stinky.
  • Activity Levels: OOPS! By activity do we mean using a steak knife? Or surfing the Internet? I mean, his typing is really good. And fast. That’s gotta count for something, no?
  • BMI: Ouch. Not telling.
  • Waist Measurement: Well, is this what size trousers he can button if they are really stretched out and he’s lying down on the bed while buttoning? No? Hmm.
  • Cholesterol: Well that’s why God invented Lipitor, isn’t it?
  • Do you add salt to food: Of course. One must salt the steak before putting it on the grill.
  • Tinned, processed or fried foods?: Yay! Hardly ever. Steak in a tin sounds nasty.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Of course! Can’t just serve up a steak, can you?
  • Saturated Fat: Now here I’m upset. There are only 2 choices. “Not aware of the fat content of the food I eat” OR “I choose foods low in saturated fat.” Where is H’s option? I must write it in myself apparently. “I am fully aware of the fat content of foods that I eat. However, it is steak. It is why I have teeth.”

 Okay, so we’re done. How do you guys think he’s doing? Any room for improvement?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Why Fancy Doesn’t Shop



Nanny #1 thinks there is something wrong with me. She keeps asking me if I’ve bought any new clothes or if I’m going out shopping. I guess the other Fancy Wives she worked for spent more time at Selfridges and less time blogging. Sigh. Seriously, I am just not a big shopper. When I need something, I buy. I don’t shop. And I don’t really need much, to be honest. Sure, a nice new sweater or a pair of jeans is fun and I do usually go travelling to the States with an empty bag, but “shopping” isn’t really my thing. (Which means when I do shop, H has nothing to say. Shush it.)

Unless it’s for the children. There is a Baby Gap around the corner. That’s as Fancy Clothing as they’re going to get. At least until they stop shitting themselves.

Anyway why should I go suffer the humiliation of fluorescent lighting and public indecency? When you are Fancy, certain essentials just seem to find their way to you. For example, here is a list of things I no longer buy.

  • ·      Socks. I get them in Upper Class on the airplane. Haven’t bought a sock since 2006.
  • ·      Hairbrushes and combs. Ditto.
  • ·      Butter knives, hand lotion, Polo mints and pens. Ditto Ditto Ditto.  (I should explain the butter knife, shouldn’t I? That was an honest mistake. Twice.)
  • ·      Random art books, classical CD’s and passport holders. (Corporate party swag. I usually steal an extra. I’ll save you one!)

If you come to dinner at my house, it’s possible I’ll serve a chocolate truffle that I got at a Fancy restaurant, stuck in my purse and brought home for guests. It’s really good chocolate, I swear. I was just full and I hate to waste.

You don’t believe me?

I got ready to go for a jog the other day and H stopped me at the door.

“Where’d you get that sweatshirt?” he asked, fingering the thick fleece I’d pulled over my head.

“Where do you think, dope?” I answered, pointing to the “Lufthansa First Class” emblem on the hem.

“Nice. Nice,” he said, enviously.

That’s right. The Fancies also have not bought a single bit of loungewear in the last 5 years. I keep an entire drawer full of airline “sleep suits” in our room, in varying sizes and colors. Come stay the night and you might get to go to Singapore, kiss Richard Branson goodnight, or lace up your Lederhosen.

Can’t buy anything like that at Harrod’s, can you?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fancy Sacrifice



You’ll be happy to know that the Fancies are on the road to recovery. I wasn’t really given a choice, given that being sick is an inconvenience to H, so by that evening I’d pulled myself together enough to go to a restaurant and pick at some toast. Thank God that I could still drink the wine at least!  You know what I say: don’t think of it as vomiting and diarrhoea, think of it as a week’s worth of spin class!

Anyway, H and I spent some time trying to figure out exactly what I’d eaten (I’m assuming this is the source of my misery, given my relatively rapid recovery and the lack of drippy nappies around the house.) and it could have been almost anything. I reckon I’m just as likely to get sick from a bag of spinach as an oyster, don’t you? This is the risk we take when eating, whether at home or out. Take, for instance, the supposed Norwalk virus outbreak at The Fat Duck last year. We’ve got friends that work in the industry (of course we do) and I’ve heard that Heston Blumethal’s kitchen is one of the cleanest anywhere, with some of the strictest food hygiene standards. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.

Then again, I’d be pretty pissed if I paid through the nose for lunch and then the next day paid again. So I’ve thought about it, and what if I became your Virtual Diner? I can go pay ridiculous sums of money to eat in places that normal people would never set foot and if I get sick the next day, you still get all the enjoyment of the experience without actually spending the day crouched over your toilet.  Plus I have to pay the sitter!

H and I actually had that conversation as we enjoyed some decidedly mediocre sushi at the Japan Centre Saturday evening. Mitsukoshi: Really? Can’t you do better? You are at the Japan Centre. How can you let the Russians (Sumosan) outdo you? You should be ashamed. The actual raw bits were lovely. But all the composed dishes were kind of sad. And the service was rough. Which is fine in bed but not when I’m dropping £400 on a meal. Maybe if we’d been seated in the cozy little sushi counter area, we’d have had a different experience. Instead we were in a room lit so brightly that I thought I was about to be interrogated. Of course, none of this stopped us from eating it all right up.  In fact, it just gave us something more to talk about. Sometimes a meal isn’t just about the food.

H thought if I started blogging about restaurants it would create a massive tidal wave of fear among the London restaurant scene. I believe he has a grossly over-inflated view of our importance. Which is conceivable, given his grossly over-inflated sense of self.

Anyway, if there is somewhere you’d like to go but just can’t get a reservation or an appropriate credit line, give me a shout. Maybe I’ve already been there. Maybe I’ll have to work on it. But I’m happy to do it. Risk my personal safety. Work an extra 2 hours at the gym. For you. Because I care.