Life begins at 50, or so my fellow i columnist Stefano Hatfield has been writing recently. But while humans might be thriving in their sixth decade, in restaurant years 50 is pretty old. On Monday I headed to Daphne’s, the Italian restaurant in South Kensington, which was celebrating its big 5-0 with a drinks party.
Unlike other places which, in order to keep faithful patrons happy, spend lots of effort making themselves look as they always have. Daphne’s had undergone a proper makeover, but it was the sort that you liked and got used to so quickly you forgot that it hadn’t always looked that way (something any 50-year-old contemplating a makeover should aim for).
One place that seems confident of making it to 50 is The Library, a new members’ club which opened its doors in St Martin’s Lane on Wednesday night. Lifetime memberships for the place, in the heart of the West End’s theatreland, cost a five-figure sum, so anyone spending that would hope for longevity. For the extremely popular launch event, they had performances from Kelis and Haim – both on stage at this weekend’s Glastonbury festival. I wonder if they’ll still be going for the anniversary bash in 2064…
The following night I went to a party to celebrate this year’s Happy List. It’s organised by The Independent on Sunday and is held as an antidote to the sexiest, richest and most powerful lists. The people who populate it are those deemed to make our lives a bit happier and were themselves a refreshing antidote to the usual party crowd.
The stories were as moving as they were impressive: from Jamie McDonald who ran across Canada for charity (it took him 11 months) to Elle-Mae Netherton who has been a fund-raiser and a carer for her late grandfather and finds time to play a role in a hearing and signing choir, despite being just 13. I came away thinking that The Happy List was one club that everyone should aspire to be a member of.
Luke Blackall is a video journalist for London LiveReuse content