where shall we meet?

The Ark, W8
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This long-established restaurant is a cross between a tardis and a boat: larger than its shed-like frontage suggests, and furnished with striped sailcloth ceilings and tiny porthole windows. Most of the customers give the impression of having been coming for years: half the tables will be filled with people telling the staff the emotional dirt on the people they brought in last week. Food comes in abundant quantities (about £4 a starter, £7-£9 a main course). Excellent value is the set lunch at £7.95 for two courses, £9.95 for three, which you can also pig out on after 10pm. The only drawback is that a lack of background hum means that conversations are in hushed cathedral tones. Five minutes from the Notting Hill cinemas.

The Ark, 122 Palace Gdns Terrace, W8 (071-229 4024)

Serena Mackesy