A TAXI IS CHUGGING OUTSIDE in the road, and Tarquin ushers me inside. To be honest, I’m a bit
Disappointed it isn’t a chauffeur-driven limousine – but still. This is pretty good, too. Being whisked off in
A taxi by one of Britain’s most eligible bache-lors to. . . who knows where? The Savoy? Claridges?
Dancing at Annabel’s? Tarquin hasn’t told me yet where we’re going.
Oh God, maybe it’ll be one of those mad places where every-thing is served under a silver dome and
There’s a million knives and forks and snooty waiters looking on, just waiting to catch you out.
“I thought we’d just have a nice quiet supper,” says Tarquin, looking over at me.
“Lovely,” I say. “Nice quiet supper. Perfect.”
Thank God. That probably means we’re not heading for silver domes. We’re going to some tiny
Tucked-away place that hardly anyone knows about. Some little private club where you have to knock
On an anonymous-looking door in a back street, and you get inside and it’s packed with celebrities sitting
On sofas, behaving like normal people. Yes! And maybe Tarquin knows them all!
But of course he knows them all. He’s a multimillionaire, isn’t he?
I look out of the window and see that we’re driving past Harrods. And for just a moment, my stomach
Tightens painfully as I remember the last time I was here. Bloody suitcases. Bloody Luke Brandon. Huh.
In fact, I wish he was walking along the road right now, so I could give him a careless,
“OK,” says Tarquin suddenly to the taxi driver. “You can drop us here.” He grins at me. “Practically on
“Great,” I say, and reach for the door.
Practically on the doorstep of where? As
I get out I look around, wondering where on earth we’re
Going. We’re at Hyde Park Corner. What’s at Hyde Park Corner? I turn round slowly, and glimpse a
Sign – and suddenly I realize what’s going on. We’re going to the Lanesborough!
Wow. How classy is that? Dinner at the Lanesborough. But naturally. Where else would one go on a
“So,” says Tarquin, appearing at my side. “I just thought we could get a bite to eat and then. . . see.”
“Sounds good,” I say, as we start walking.
Excellent! Dinner at the Lanesborough and then on to some glam nightclub. This is all shaping up
We walk straight past the entrance to the Lanesborough, but I’m not fazed by that. Everyone knows
VIPs always go in through the back to avoid the paparazzi. Not that I can actually see any paparazzi, but
It probably becomes a habit. We’ll duck into some back alley, and walk through the kitchens while the
Chefs pretend they can’t see us, and then emerge in the foyer. This is so cool.
“I’m sure you’ve been here before,” says Tarquin apologeti-cally. “Not the most original choice.”
“Don’t be silly!” I say, as we stop and head toward a pair of glass doors. “I simply adore. . .”
Hang on, where are we? This isn’t the back entrance to anywhere. This is. . .
Pizza on the Park.
Tarquin’s taking me to Pizza Express. I don’t believe it. The fifteenth richest man in the country is taking
Me to bloody Pizza Express.
“. . . pizza,” I finish weakly. “Love the stuff.”
“Oh good!” says Tarquin. “I thought we probably didn’t want anywhere too flashy.”
“Oh no.” I pull what I think is a very convincing face. “I hate flashy places. Much better to have a nice
Quiet pizza together.”