Diary: Let's Do Lunch - Quaglino's

Reviewed by Bob Dearsley, chairman of ITPR.

Quaglino's dates from the 1930s, and the photography behind the cloakroom counter highlights a black and white era of opulence.

The modern, Conran-owned Quaglino's is a slick, fast, highly colourful and media-friendly environment that dives down from the street into a noisy, bustling bar and goes further down into a 250-seater dining hall full of French waiters, fine wines and high-fashion food.

Beautifully prepared iced displays of crustaceans greet the diner's gaze.

Platters of fruit de mer - at £34 per person - sail by, carried high on the arms of the waiters.

We dined there shortly after the Glorious Twelfth and, although grouse is not my sort of thing, chef Julian O'Neill has produced a two-course menu with a half bottle of 2003 Valpolicella Classico for only £37.50.

A private dining room with a view over the restaurant offers another perspective. Blinds, solid glass walls and a door provide an excellent corporate or media presentation facility over lunch or dinner.

The only down-side was that the glass roof bounces the sound around the room so much that the noise of 200 people eating became a cacophony, making the telling of quiet secrets or sweet nothings a little complicated.

Where: Bury Street, London SW1

Contact: 020 7930 6767

How much: £30-35 plus wine

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