Eating for a living has drawbacks - a smaller woman when a lawyer, I expanded when I moved into PR. And it's tough to find places within easy reach of the office, where one can talk confidentially and service is slick.
But Axis is only a short journey away, down a sweeping marble staircase to a smooth black leather and cream space. Restorative iced mineral water and freshly squeezed orange juice are ready by the time you are seated, and the balcony bar is a fine place to wait for latecomers.
Australian head chef and Academie Culinaire de France award winner Mark Gregory cooks the modern British/touch of Asian food that clients and co-conspirators always enjoy with a range of summery salads. I don't drink, but I'm told the wine list is comprehensive and reasonably priced. I don't eat puds, but watch others who groan with delight.
Conversation is not interrupted every few minutes by glass top-ups and 'is everything all right?', and the 'menu express' service will get you out in an hour if you warn them at the start and are pushed for time.
There are jazz sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and the hippest swimming pool around in the hotel next door, if you want to work off the dietary back-sliding.
Where: 1 Aldwych, London WC2 Contact: 020 7300 0400 How much: Three-course set lunch, £20