Donald MacInnes: Admission impossible? Not with the right ID

In The Red
  • @DonaldAMacInnes

Although his outlook on life is terrifying, the Daily Mail's Richard Littlejohn remains quite famous. And there must be times when this has its advantages – like when he's booking dinner at The Ivy. It would be extremely rude to speculate on the nature of his phone calls to the celebrity restaurant, but I think I might do it anyway.

Ring …

"Hello, The Ivy."

"I'd like a table for two. This evening. Not too near the toilet."

"Sorry, sir, we're fully booked. What about Boxing Day 2041?"

"Sorry? This is Richard Littlejohn. Of the Daily Mail."

"Oh, I do apologise, Mr Littlejohn. Eight-ish tonight?"

The question "Do you know who I am?" is a depth to which I will never stoop, but I have always thought that it would be nice to get into a place where admission seems impossible.

On the last night of a stay in Berlin, my wife and I had planned to eat in the revolving restaurant at the top of the city's iconic TV tower. Resembling a mirrored disco ball atop a mammoth concrete skewer, it dominates the skyline like few other landmarks in Europe – the perfect venue for a sunset dinner.

So, on our penultimate day, I tried to book a table. They were booked solid. My wife was pretty disappointed and sported that expression which always makes me want to go and put up a shelf to make things better. Surely our German trip wasn't going to end on such a low?

I called the tower back and asked to be put through to their media department. Thankfully, the press officer had heard of The Independent and was impressed that one of its people was in Berlin. Did I want to have dinner in the tower, she asked.

"Tomorrow night?" I asked gingerly.

"Of course!" she said. "Eight-ish?"

I agreed and hung up, amazed. My wife gazed at me in wonder, for perhaps the first time in our relationship. I pretended it was nothing.

The following night we had dinner, which was amazing. And, you'll be relieved to hear that, it being a revolving restaurant, we were only sat near the toilets every 24 minutes.