Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

London District Where Celebrity Spotting Includes the Royal Family ; You Know You've Arrived When You Have Your Wine Poured by a Man Who Has Served Prince Charles, Writes KATE FIELDER

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

London District Where Celebrity Spotting Includes the Royal Family ; You Know You've Arrived When You Have Your Wine Poured by a Man Who Has Served Prince Charles, Writes KATE FIELDER

Article excerpt

EVERY now and then, something happens which causes you to ignore what it says on your birth certificate and act like a child.

I was on the steps of St James's Hotel and Club in a Mayfair cul- de-sac on a balmy spring evening when I spotted a tall, lean man being ushered into the comforting confines of a Royal-crested Rolls Royce, and being driven off serenely.

I'm 34, but I was definitely going on 15 at that moment.

My friend and I set off at brisk pace to keep up with the car but our powerwalk soon turned into a full-on jog to try to see which member of the Royal Family it could be.

My guess was Prince Charles, my friend was hedging her bets at Prince Harry - I suspect just because it makes a cooler story.

Anyway, as this beautiful 1970s Rolls Royce disappeared from view, we gave up, caught our breath and burst into peals of laughter.

Don, the extremely helpful St James's doorman, although clearly bemused, had the good grace not to comment on our ridiculous celebrityspotting antics. It's not difficult to spot the rich and famous in the upmarket London district of Mayfair.

Only half an hour previously, over a number of courses at the Michelin-Starred William Drabble's Seven Park Place, the sommelier had told us about his previous job in a members-only club only a hop, skip and a curtsy away from where we were sitting.

Apparently, he was very used to serving fine wine to Prince Charles.

We were on a voyage of discovery with head sommelier Andre Luis Teixeira Martins, whose expert choices of wines accompanied the tasting menu.

Every dish and every glass proved how high the standard must be for a restaurant to earn the top accolade.

We delicately devoured the dishes presented to us, sipped, rather than slurped the wines, expertly paired wines for every course.

It was a truly wonderful dining experience, in comfortable, elegant surroundings, made all the more exceptional by the friendly atmosphere and perfectly attentive staff. …

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