Diary: Let's meet at ... The Institute of Directors

It has been two years since I first discovered it, but I'm still chuffed at having such a wonderfully varied eating and meeting place as the Institute of Directors.

Never mind my clients - it impresses me every time I go, and all for a fraction of the price of the more illustrious clubs nearby (the joining fee was so small I assumed they had omitted a nought).

The IoD on Pall Mall has two adjacent buildings, with entirely different atmospheres. One is trendy and thrusting, the other an imposing, oaky Crown property designed 200 years ago by John Nash.

The older building (always my choice) offers a range of eating options, from light platters to brasserie fayre, but for the full-on IoD experience, have a blowout in the restaurant - with its huge portraits, picture windows and grand piano - where the food is sumptuous and the service immaculate.

It's often half empty, which shows that however good a product is, you need to promote it. So right on cue, the restaurant has launched a marketing drive: loyal customers are to be offered 'a small token of appreciation' (intriguing), Friday jazz evenings are in full swing, and wine tastings planned.

The restaurant alone is worth the joining fee, but be warned: no bargain lasts forever.

Where: 116 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ED Contact: 020 7766 8888 How much: About £75 for two

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