Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

So, What's the Big Deal about San Lorenzo?; as the Scandal Broke, Sven and Nancy Sought Refuge in the Celebrity Bistro

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

So, What's the Big Deal about San Lorenzo?; as the Scandal Broke, Sven and Nancy Sought Refuge in the Celebrity Bistro

Article excerpt

Byline: PETE CLARK

IT'S just a couple of small steps for man, but it's a giant leap into celebrity for mankind. I am talking, of course, about the entrance to San Lorenzo, the Italian restaurant in Beauchamp Place, which acts as a dining room for celebrities who have not yet discovered the one they have at home.

The modest awnings give no clue to the pleasuredome within, but once the magic, although surprisingly discreet, portal has been broached, the intrepid visitor is free to roam in a very exclusive playground indeed.

Simply everyone comes here, darling.

The aristocracy of the spheres is richly represented. That cheeky ankle skipping over the threshold could belong to Liz Hurley, Madonna, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, or the consort of a Chelsea footballer. Those immaculately casual fellows over there could well be Eric Clapton and Sting. The people with the large teeth will almost certainly be tenuously attached to the Royal Family.

Consumed with curiosity, I went along to San Lorenzo, once a favourite of the Princess of Wales, yesterday lunchtime to see what traces could be found of this celebrity Zeitgeist. A booking was made in the morning, but when I turned up at the appointed hour, there was no sign of it in the book. Heads were shaken ruefully and teeth were sucked. I turned away from the desk wreathed in disappointment: clearly, some names are worth writing down, and others are not. I had heard that Mara, who, with Lorenzo, has run the place for more than 35 years, was a permanent fixture, always ready to bustle up with a warm embrace.

Clearly, they had no idea who I was.

At that moment, a cheery voice behind me announced that there was no need to worry, they could provide a table anyway. A bit easier than The Ivy or Nobu, came the faintly ignoble thought. Sitting at the bar waiting for my luncheon companion, I nibbled on a large, and apparently gratis, olive and surveyed the surroundings. There were small groups of young women who clearly had access to staggering amounts of money. They wore the mild tans of those who are not desperate for two weeks in the sunshine, twinned with the jeans that are not available in the high street. …

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