Some things are just not funny. This is one of them: It's the middle of the week, you have a spot on your chin that no amount of Yves Saint Laurent touche eclat will cover and you can't wear your new pink hooker mules because they look ridiculous with your 600 denier black Wolford tights.
Nevertheless, you are going to the launch party for a new restaurant and then to Hush another trendy new place for dinner. You are thrilled. You love the whole process of getting ready, wearing the lipstick (okay - a dab of the girlfriend's foundation - work with me here), and your new collapsible front dress or the spivvy suit with the baboon's arse lining. God is in the bar having a martini and all is well with the world.
Actually, if God is a woman, she's probably sitting in the bar at Hush, with a small family of glossy carrier bags collected round her feet like children at story time because it has everything a fashionable deity would want in a restaurant. Location - it's tucked away in a discreet but easily accessible mews behind Bond Street - handy for Hermes and perfect for post-Prada assignations. Style - a suitably chiaroscuro, gloomy yet glam interior and, of course, celebrity status. Otherwise known as: Hush-isn't-that-Roger-Moore's-son's-place (and pity the other partner, Jamie Barbour, who must know what it feels like to be a wife).
But still, it's not quite happening. They serve fantastic cocktails but the food, though possibly ideal for celestial beings who don't actually eat, has been - let's be kind - unreliable. Downstairs in the brasserie there's the sort of unsurprising modern comfort food that will fire your appetite if not your imagination. Upstairs in the restaurant - the awful pun that is Hush Up, the plot not so much thickens, as curdles.
First, you chose sides - who's having fish and who meat. Then flummoxed by the means-tested wine lists - dear and dearer - you summon the sommelier, a ebullient chap who seems to think he's auditioning for blind date instead of working, and ask for a light red to compliment both.
He suggests an Italian red.
Where is it from, you ask.
Naples, he replies.
Surely not,' says your companion, doubtfully. 'You don't actually know where it comes from, do you? he says.
No, says the sommelier, breezily - deeply in love with his own charm and playing to the invisible camera.
Then you order the leek and truffle tart. Your companion the pan fried scallops. The tart arrives; beautiful pastry, scant leeks, crude amounts of melted cheese, no visible truffles but lashings of overpowering truffle oil which already permeates the room, hovering somewhere between halitosis and unmade beds. Your companion leers. He thinks it more the smell of sex with a mature woman, but you've obviously been kissing /way/italics different people.
The scallops are accompanied by an equally penetrating lemony, couscous with the texture of fine gravel which is exceptionally dry, and very five hours ago. You ordered the worst thing says a chap on our right and looking around - tables on both sides of us bear plates with uneaten couscous.
Your companion has roast turbot with clams and bacon to follow. The fish, and at least one clam, have been dead just marginally longer than anticipated. Another guest claims ruefully that most of her clams seem to have tired of waiting, vacated their shells and simply left - lucky molluscs. You have an old-fashioned favourite - tournedo rossini with a Madeira sauce and a trembling slab of foie gras on the top. The meat is faultlessly cooked, but the dish as a whole slightly flabby - more idle than rich. Over-salted spinach and green beans on the side appear in small cameo roles as little more than a tablespoon each.
Then the avant dessert arrives. Both you and the couple on the neighbouring table look balefully at the little demi tasse of rapidly thawing iced water with a cube of lemon sorbet floating in it. Seeing your collective dismay, a person resembling the young George Michael approaches and asks what is wrong.
Wham! You tell him. 'Well, I hear what you're saying,' he responds, 'but I don't necessarily abide by it.'
So you wonder why he bothers asking? And the neighbours, with whom you are suddenly double dating, are also doubly upset. It's the woman's birthday. Many happy non returns.
The pudding doesn't improve matters. You have a mocha panacotta with a caramel rum sauce with the density and taste of reconstituted Mars bars, then you hand over a couple of fifty pound notes and finally have the explosive argument with your companion that has been brewing longer than the accompanying coffee.
God has definitely drained her glass and left the building. Then you cry, and the waiter very discreetly behaves as if it is the most natural thing in the world to pay while weeping copiously, for which you are eternally grateful. Obviously he has taken lessons at the Roger Moore school of acting. Not even a quizzically raised eyebrow. What a saint he is.