DIARY: Let's do lunch

Christopher's - The American Grill reviewed by William Clutterbuck, partner at The Maitland Consultancy

The massive doorway and classical marble staircase that greet you as you enter give the impression of a grand Venetian hotel, rather than a fashionable Covent Garden restaurant, although legend has it the place was once a brothel.

True or not, Christopher's certainly looks after its regulars, putting them in the end room from where they can observe the other diners making their way into the main restaurant. There is always someone interesting there - a slightly embarrassed male politician lunching with an attractive woman 'of a certain age' or a self-important TV current affairs presenter.

The menu, described as 'American cuisine', is straightforward and good - with a focus on steaks and caesar salads, though it does have something called 'dirty rice'. And the wine comes in decent-sized glasses over which you can gaze over Waterloo Bridge: the capital's most romantic river crossing.

The best thing is the staff. Keen and helpful, they really know what the punters want: good food and quickly. And they remember your name.

I once left having forgotten to pay. The only reason I knew was because Christopher's rang casually two days later and asked if I could pay next time.

But it's not a place to meet a headhunter. Unless you actually want to be spotted, of course.

Where: Wellington Street, London WC2

Contact: 020 7240 4222

How much: £35 per head

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