April 21 2011
Left home a little later today at 8am. Chance to chat with my brother, who is spending a few days with us. Drove into town and stopped at The Berkeley to pick up my mail, then drove straight on to The Gilbert Scott. I am sure the Tube would be easier and much faster but I work such strange hours that the car is a necessity and a treat. Before lunch I had a photo shoot for the restaurant for a weekly colour magazine.
I think everyone is getting ready for the holidays, almost 60 lunches today. Tasted a few more dishes, this time for the spring menu. One of the most fascinating things about food and produce is that nothing stays the same; there is always something new to try, slight adjustments to make. As the sun shines, certain dishes just become too wintry.
The restaurant is starting to have a busy feel to it, there was a Grey Goose cocktail tasting in our rather splendid bar for a future summer event that they are hosting. The team of managers from The Berkeley came over for a meeting today, it was the first time head chef James had seen it; I think he was surprised by the scale of it. We recently created an HR role based on the increased number of staff we now have; I got one of the regular updates from Constanze on where we are with recruitment and other issues.
I spend a great deal of time every day on the telephone. I keep in constant touch with our PR team, my accountant, my wife and the variety of contacts I am juggling at any one time. We have upped the covers for dinner to really push the team so I spent the evening watching service in the kitchen and in the front of house and talking to guests. Again lots of familiar faces.
Got home before midnight tonight with lots of activity at the house, it seemed to involve TVs and a satellite box; I went to bed! Looking forward to the weekend. Expect to be at The Berkeley at some point on Friday as we are open all day but I should get a lie-in first. At The Berkeley again on Saturday and Monday but should have some time at home on Sunday, maybe even an Easter egg hunt. Looking forward to next week, we open the phone lines to The Gilbert Scott on Monday April 25 before the restaurant launch on May 5.