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Thursday, 22 March 2012

To Lunch or not to Lunch... on Mother's day.

London: Sunday 18th March, after 2.00pm

We were starving and schlepping big and getting progressively heavier shopping bags from Oxford Street to Park lane on a mission to find a restaurant that would have us at this late-ish hour.

The Connaught Hotel was about to set up for tea...Tea! I tell you...While the patrons were still cutting into their steaks.So we trotted up the gorgeous Mount Street, lined to the left and to the right with the most prestigious and luxury boutiques, hoping to find some joy at Scott’s. What we found were wall to wall people, boisterous laughing, many kids and no table. Dejected and blind with hunger we continued our search. The bags were now no longer held but unceremoniously dragged up South Audley Street. What was seen as fun and some much needed retail therapy quickly became a burden as our back and arms ached. With my sister in the lead and my mind sipping wine in my happy place, we soldiered on towards Wolfgang Puck's Cut restaurant at the new: 45 Park Lane Hotel.

We walked in: people peppered to the left and right, obviously waiting while we strode up bold as brass to ask for a table.
“Please wait here” said a smiling woman at the desk, “the hostess will be right with you.”

While we waited, I was given the once over from an elderly Middle Eastern woman sitting with her family having lunch. I stared back...she withdrew her gaze. I may have been dehydrated but I could still return daggers to the grouchy tiger.
We had time to take in the people, the many kids and the cheesy vocals from the live singer somewhere within the hidden depths of the restaurant: “I love you just the way you arrrreee...”

Oh! Crap...Mother’s day. We not only forgot, we hadn’t given it any thought.
The hostess wove her way towards us: “Good afternoon Ladies! What can I do for you?" Fake cheer, ugly shoes.

“We would like a table for two please...”

That was when she could have redeemed herself, but she made that fatal mistake: she looked down at our shopping bags, gave them the once over and made her decision on the spot: Le cheapo Sunday shopper. She obviously didn’t get a good look at our handbags...

“Let me go and see” she chirped facetiously.

She came back and the gig was up, we were dismissed with a perfunctory: “Sorry ladies, we have no more tables available.”

Nice to know that Aldo, Uniqlo, Gap and the ultimate in cheap Primark could not get us a more congenial attitude. She tried foolishly to give us an alternative: “Why don’t you go upstairs to the bar...they serve snacks!” And would that bar be plunged in darkness by any chance?

“Snacks???” replied my sister with a voice that could freeze water.

She quickly got the message and retreated back into the cheese fest going on behind her.

Head held high and our shopping bags now swinging with renewed vigour, we removed ourselves and our frowned upon shopping to greener, richer pastures: Bar Boulud at The Mandarin Oriental.
I can't recommend this establishment enough,the food is fantastic, the service is not only professional but impeccable ,the patrons are cool and no one gives anyone the once over let alone your shopping.

Lesson of the day: I am worth more than my shopping...actually my sister’s handbag is.
Lesson no.2: He who shops on the High street ...also shops at Prada.


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