Closer to home, another seafood meal sticks in the mind for more sentimental reasons. It was the day we dropped off my daughter Danielle for her first term at university, and we had a goodbye meal at the Ocean Palace (8 Priory Road, Bournemouth, 01202 559 127). We ate an amazing drunken fish dish, cooked in alcohol and garlic accompanied by beautiful vegetables wrapped in leaves of some description. Danielle leaving for university was a real wrench. She and I are very close, and I used to phone her every day until she got fed up. Now she's positively delighted whenever I phone, because I usually end up taking her and a few student friends out to the Ocean Palace for dinner when I visit.
I generally like my fish cooked, but enjoy occasional sushi. I'm a patron of Help the Aged, and went to a fund- raising event recently catered for by Yo Sushi! (head office 0171 437 0500). It was an absolute joy, with all this del- icious, delicate sushi going round on a little conveyor belt.
For seabass you can't beat the Dorchester Hotel (53 Park Lane, London W1, 0171 629 8888), but it's rare for me to combine eating out and work. When I'm not working, I much prefer to have meals with non-showbiz friends, otherwise you just end up talking shop all the time. To be honest, I'm a bit of a home bird and my preference is dinner parties. When I'm off- stage I want to be truly off-stage. It's a bit like having two separate identities.