The Bon Viveur of Greek Street

The London restaurant world is one of larger than life characters, ghosts of much-loved patrons and an ever-rotating cast of historical, grand or raffish establishments. The chairman of L’Escargot, Brian Clivaz, has lived and breathed this world his whole career

There are radiators and hoovers in all our lives, and I have taken to judging where people sit on this scale by thinking about going to have lunch with them. The thought of meeting some people gives me a bit of a knot of dread way down in my gut, some induce a bit of a boring duty feeling and quite a few these days make me feel like remaining in my garden and pruning my roses but there are a few who always put a smile on my face, and make me race through whatever else I have to do so that I be in their company more quickly. Brian Clivaz falls into this category. The first conversation we ever had was about the ghosts of restaurants that litter the streets of London. Chez Solange in Cranbourn Street is one I mention often and usually I get a blank response, but not from Brian, he countered with Overtons in Victoria and we both loved the fact that you could still the long darkened once illuminated sign when you descend into the tube. We talked about the different incarnations of the Ivy, about Les Ambassadeurs and Wheelers, about Bentley’s Oyster Bar when Parry de Winton and my father drank Gin and It and played spoof and poker all afternoon. It was wonderful.

Article attributed to Riddle

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