Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Absurdity of Living in London: Example 2,472

When Mr. MarathonMum and I wanted to celebrate our 12th anniversary last night, I had to make reservations at two restaurants: one we really wanted to go to, and the second as our "safety" in case we didn't get into the first place.

Perhaps I could have been more organized and tried to book it at the beginning of the summer, rather than three weeks before. I'm not a London rookie after all. I know how these things work. I should have known better.

After several calls and e-mails around London being told there were no tables available, we got put on the waiting list at Locanda Locatelli. Then, much like applying to university, I found a "safety" where we were guaranteed a spot, but it wasn't our top choice. (I'm not going to name the restaurant because I'd still like to eat there some day.)

Being a fan of Georgio Locatelli and his cookbook, Made In Italy, and all things Italian, I really, really wanted to eat at Locanda. It's also known as a stomping ground for Madonna, Gwenyth Paltrow and others, so I thought we would some value-added celebrity spotting thrown in for good measure. As a lowly commoner in London, I decided the only way we were going to get a table would be to use my best talents: persistence and humour.

I shamelessly kept calling the reservation desk to see where we were on the list, and always threw in a few jokes to help our case. Honestly, I wasn't far from asking some people to write us some supplementary reference letters to help us get in. By Wednesday, she told me we had made it to No. 1 on the wait list. Woo-Hoo! By Thursday, we were still No. 1, but no one had cancelled their reservation. By Friday, we got the call we were waiting for: We Got In!

A tip to our not-rich and not-famous friends: Persistence and humour works.

We went last night. While it was perfectly lovely meal, it was neither the best meal we've ever had-- that honour goes to Angela Hartnett at the Connaught for our anniversary dinner in 2005, nor the best Italian meal we've ever had-- that honour goes to Antico Arco in Rome in 2003. It wasn't even the best Italian meal we've had this year-- that honour goes to The Silene in Pescina, Italy.

Don't misunderstand, we had a nice meal. We weren't disappointed exactly, but it didn't seem to be worth all the trouble to get a table. And we didn't see anyone famous.

1 comment:

RandomReality said...

Au contraire. It sounds like a LOVELY meal. Just you and the hubby with no little people whining, leaking or screaming. And perhaps there WERE famous people there - they were just in disguise! Like famous people do!