Your usual table? Who eats where: LORD LICHFIELD PHOTOGRAPHER

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The Independent Culture
ALL MY FAMILY is greedy so we tend to talk food a lot. I have heated debates with my children about where to eat. They all have adventurous appetites, which I greatly approve of. On work trips I get terribly depressed by models who only want room service. I say: "But we're in Mexico City" - and they insist on telephoning for a burger.

I eat out every single day - lunch or dinner, sometimes both, and love experimenting. I don't much enjoy dressing up in formal clothes, but I will if the restaurant demands it. I'll also eat in Spartan circumstances for the sake of wonderful food. I have a girlfriend who thinks about food as much as I do, but is much more knowledgeable than me and I find her the perfect dining companion. I'm also happy to eat alone. I'm quite oblivious to other diners so I don't mind being stared at. I simply open my Filofax and scribble, which grabs the attention of the waiters, who think I'm a critic.

There's been an explosion of good restaurants in London over the last few years. This area is wonderful for eating (near Lichfield's studio in W10). The Sugar Club was my favourite local place but the chef, Peter Gordon, has moved to Soho and the site has reopened as Bali Sugar (33a All Saints Road, W11, 0171 221 4477). I've found it as good as, if not better than, the original. The new chef, Claudio Aprile, uses extraordinary ingredients and his combinations are unbelievable.

London is unusual in that some of the greatest chefs have worked, or do work, in hotels - for example Michel Bourdin at The Restaurant at the Connaught Hotel (16 Carlos Place, W1, 0171 499 7070). The Room at the Halcyon Hotel (129 Holland Park Avenue, W11, 0171 221 5411) is also excellent - it's an undiscovered oasis of calm where the service is wonderful and the food is always good. When abroad I seldom eat in hotels, as I can generally find better food in local restaurants. This is most true of Sydney, where you can seek out wonderful little spots.

I have had the most spectacular meals in grand restaurants in, say, France or Belgium. Yet I have been to places in Thailand, right by the sea, where you choose your fish (from 10 or 20 types laid out on ice) and fresh vegetables, say how you want them cooked and have a wonderful drink to accompany them. That, to me, is perfection.

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