Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Tanya Gold

Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Tanya Gold

Article excerpt

Credit: Tanya Gold

In the 'Chefs' Last Supper' in the National Portrait Gallery, Marcus Wareing is throwing a brie at Gordon Ramsay, who plays Jesus. They both have restaurants in the celebrity-chef triangle in Knightsbridge near Heston Blumenthal's Dinner, which led Ramsay to fantasise about chefs' fisticuffs at 4 a.m. in the street, as he does; but what was Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, which sounds very like a restaurant with in-built directions for the confused, has been rebranded to be less 'formal' and more 'relaxed'. It is now just 'Marcus at the Berkeley'. It's gone the way of gay icons with a solitary name in lights: Judy. Barbra. Liza. Marcus.

The Berkeley is an insane hotel with blank windows; it has the eyes of a sociopath. It has a crazed florist, who has built a cherry tree in the lobby in banks of daffodils; this, of course, is the monetisation of Easter, which began in Harvey Nichols (where else?) but has spread across the road to the Berkeley. This is the way of things in plutocratic London: do not go outside. It is dangerous out there; there are looters staring at the giant pack of Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power replacement cartridges masquerading as the Candy & Candy development One Hyde Park and dreaming of stealing your possessions. Instead, establish outside inside at vast expense. One day I expect to see the whole of the Cotswolds inside the Berkeley, complete with birds and a random pony.

To enter Marcus (sorry, I am giggling) one has to navigate the fashion hags in the tearoom, who are eating the Berkeley's signature 'fashion tea', with cakes in the shape of their beloved accessories, although, as P points out, no one has sex with you because you have a nice handbag. Indeed not; and that is why you need a nice handbag; who said fashion had anything to do with sex? They suck on stilettos and munch on hats; they have paid for the accessories, and now they are ingesting them. …

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