House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Rabih Hage

A challenging day of meetings goes like clockwork

Rabih Hage

June 12 2011
Rabih Hage

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

My Friday line-up of meetings was challenging. My diary is showing: a meeting with the creative mind and excellent graphic designer, Patrick Myles (, at 10am, a sophisticated interior meeting with Jane at 11am, a show-and-tell lunch with Michele at Cipriani’s at 12:30, a project start-up meeting with the delightful Mireille at 2pm, a quick update meeting with the charming Teena on an alternative extension to her house at 4:30pm, and drinks at the power couple Linda and Ron’s annual party at 7pm. Miracle! All of the above happened. Except the show-and-tell lunch at Cipriani.

I have been missing this bi-monthly meeting with Michele since the beginning of this year. We always have the catch-up lunch at our favourite gossip-inducing restaurant where you are highly entertained by the “m’a tout vu” clientèle as opposed to “m’as-tu vu”. A lesson in French here is essential, maybe? People usually show off at good restaurants and take advantage of the food. Here some people show nearly everything… and we take advantage of the food. Well, not today. In order to be able to make all of the serious work happen, this Friday Michele and I decided to skip lunch.

It was the best decision ever. I was able to sort out several essential points before the weekend (and my descent on Basel), ranging form the colour of the rug for the ballroom of a new and surprising five-star Radisson hotel in Guildford (yes, Guildford; why not?). I also looked at the ambitious garden extension with Ed from West Yorkshire, our “Rambo” of planning applications senior architect. Yes here, on Friday we do not surrender until all is out for others to deal with and worry about over the weekend. We are taking our revenge on all the consultants, contractors and suppliers who send us intricate existentialist questions just at quarter to six in the afternoon on Friday! Our answer usually to such questions is: “Of course, please read our plans sir.” But today is the day of vengeance.

After the Friday’s flushing-out-work for others finished and a quick coffee with Maestro Gaetano Pesce to dot the i’s for his London exhibition in October, I picked up my wife from home and went straight to the Berkeley Hotel for some refreshments and canapés around a cheery but short catch-up with some of our nicest friends. I do like the Berkeley Hotel. It is one of the most continuously genuine hospitality services in the capital since many years. It was time to go to dinner and join another group of our nicest friends at my favourite Italian restaurant in London (yes, you know the answer), Lucio’s on Fulham Road; one of the best Italian tables and the most consistent service in town, managed by Lucio and his beautiful family.

I learned a lesson that evening from Thierry: “Switch off your Blackberry at quarter to six on Friday and switch it on again on Monday at 9am.” he said. Done. Thank you, Thierry, and have a lovely weekend.

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