September 25 2010
Not my usual start to a Friday: I arrived in a suit and went to Claridge’s instead of The Berkeley. I spent the morning with chefs Hélène Darroze, who runs a restaurant of the same name at The Connaught, and Pierre Koffmann, who recently opened at The Berkeley and is receiving very good reviews. We were dressed and positioned for a Maybourne photo shoot which proved a great opportunity to catch up mid-pose.
I was back in whites by lunchtime. Friday is always a busy day for us, I think people just decide to take the afternoon off and enjoy a long lunch. We sometimes wave goodbye to the lunch guests minutes before our dinner guests arrive.
Having felt cold yesterday today was a sure sign that winter is not far away with tables being booked for the run-up to Christmas for lots of client entertaining and festive celebrations. Although we do not exactly bring out the tinsel, we offer a seasonal menu and are open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when I shall be serving a beautiful themed tasting menu. It’s sad to leave my family at home on Christmas Day but the mood in the restaurant is always very festive and I get to spend the evening with them as we close early. The elegant new packaging for our gift experience vouchers arrived today and makes for a great Christmas gift. We now sell them online for easy purchase. With my time so limited, I wonder if I can get away with giving them to the family this year?
Talking of spending, we are moving house in about six weeks, so Jane and I spent the afternoon visiting the new house. We are not moving far but wanted somewhere with a much bigger garden and fewer stairs. Our children are only three, five and nine but already they take up an awful lot of space! Really pleased to see how the house has changed since our last visit. I am particularly excited about the kitchen as I have full control of the design – every chef’s dream.
At home the Friday afternoon play-date logistics were far too confusing so after a quick cup of tea I went back to the restaurant for the evening!
The dining room was buzzing again tonight, which is fairly usual for a Friday evening. We had some food bloggers dining; I am not really sure what I think of the whole concept. It is a great way to promote the restaurant, assuming the comments are good, but on the other hand the photographs are sometimes quite misleading. Oh well, not much I can do about it.