29. Amateur Hour

So we’d booked a table at  The Ivy for Sunday lunch, because people said we should.

Snuggled in the heart of Soho since the early twentieth century , it’s nana chic walls are lined with black and white photographs of history’s theatrical royalty – Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich and Dame Nellie Melba all ate there. Noël Coward was an habitue. And now it was hosting Secret Royalty.  Shambolic, hungover, disoriented Secret Royalty.

Sunday’s  unraveling possibly began the night before. Extremely overstimulated after meeting the new princess, we had inhaled an outrageous amount of champagne before falling into twin comaes.

The resulting twin hangovers dramatically reduced our common sense, so rather than ask exactly where the restaurant was, we got them to order us a cab.  It was black, it was a late model Mercedes, it was gorgeous and it drove us three whole blocks to our location. Funny.

During this four minute drive, I thought I was going to be sick, so the window was down and I was  doing a lot of breathing. A lot. There was a lot of unattractive clamminess taking place as well.

A lovely  Aunty type checked our coats, and we were ushered into the dining room. Could it have been any hotter? I wanted to go sit with the Aunty in the Cloak Room . I had to go outside for fresh air; there was a point, when he had no more layers to remove, that I thought Stuart was going to lose the t-shirt too.

I ordered the chicken broth. Invalid food. He ordered something substantial, then he saw someone else tucking into what looked like his choice, went green and changed his order. To chicken broth. No wine. A lot of burping into the beautiful napkins.

We asked  (as calmly as possible) our immaculate waiter to  turn down the air con or open a window. He could have said no; instead he said “Oh thank gauud. You don’t want to be wearing this three piece I can promise you”. Perfect.

Three months to get a table and we were out on the pavement in an hour. An amateur hour.

I’m pretty sure it was great. But what would I know.

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