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TGI Paul

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Septembers getting even better!!

On top of the stuff going on that I've written about below, I can now add to my month the following;

Dinner at
Gordon Ramsey's at Claridges last Saturday evening as a belated birthday treat from Jay, who obviously is now very 'let off the hook' after what happened before, and I have to say, this was probably one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been in.

We had a late evening booking, not arriving until half past ten. The doorman, complete with long overcoat and top hat, came to meet us at the taxi with an umbrella to keep us dry from the September drizzle.

"Good evening, Gentlemen," he said, "Welcome back."

Of course he didn't know us from Adam, but it made us feel extremely welcome... and important! Stepping into the large foyer we were greeted by portraits of the Queen at various ages, as well as Prime Ministers from throughout the years adorning the walls like a Claridges 'Hall of Fame'

We had our coats taken by a porter and made our way through to the lounge area.

The decor was luxurious; huge Art Deco chandeliers and picture frames, and mirrors covering every wall and column. .

We were early for our table so took a table in the bar area. As Jay was
ordering the champagne, Catherine Zeta Jones and a few colleagues came out of the restaurant and took the table next to us for after dinner coffees. And yes... she is as beautiful in real life and very charming. Jay was amazed I managed to restrain myself from asking for a photo, but even I can see how tacky it would be to do it in there!!

Once inside the dining room, we were waited on my a multitude of attentive, young, perfectly groomed hosts, waiters and a very sweet Sommelier, as you would expect! The menu was small (but perfectly formed, as they say). For a starter, I had the 'Blue Fin Tuna Cooked Two Ways' (it was divine!), and for a main course I opted for more seafood with the Lemon Seabass. The mousses in between courses helped keep the palate cleansed.

The sommelier recommended a different wine for each dish, so after the half bottle of champagne I'd had, I was now feeing VERY relaxed!

At the end of the meal, four waiters came over with a small plate, hands cupped around the glow of a single candle. As the plate was presented to me, they started to sing 'Happy Birthday' and I looked down to see the words written in chocolate sauce next to a small scoop of what proved to be the most delicious vanilla ice-cream I've ever tasted!

All in all, it was an amazing evening, one I shall remember for a long, long time, and the perfect end to a birthday week! Thanks Jay!


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