Diary: Let's Do Lunch - The Garrick Club

Reviewed by George Pitcher, co-founder, Luther Pendragon.

The Garrick Club was founded in 1831 and some of its original members can be seen there most lunchtimes. It's worth visiting for its theatrical portraiture alone. The deal is that you meet in the first floor bar for a drink at one o'clock, then like a flock of migrating penguins the bar empties at half-past for lunch in the Coffee Room.

Actors from 1970s sitcoms, who your guest will think were dead, dine on a central long 'club' table with smaller tables of cabinet ministers and B-list BBC celebs paying homage around the side. There's no rubber-necking - I mean, can you imagine Daily Mail columnist Simon Heffer going 'Ooh, look, there's Jeremy Paxman'?

The Coffee Room has recently been restored to its Georgian splendour, thanks to the recent Winnie-the-Pooh windfall - AA Milne bequeathed his rights partly to The Garrick. The menu owes a lot to Pooh, too. Unlike most clubs, you don't have to play 'Name That Vegetable'.

A downside of the Coffee Room is that it doesn't admit women at lunchtime, so those of us who rather like women dine there, of course, ironically.

It's also rather harder than nearby The Ivy to book a table - there's a six-year waiting list and even then you may not get in.

Where: Garrick Street, London WC2 E9AY

Contact: 020 7836 1737

How much: £15-£150 exc. membership

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