Obviously it was a “working lunch”. Obviously. Whenever I get together with @legslonglength, as she is known on Twitter, we do nothing but work. Ahem.
Ruth (@legslonglength) and I have been lunching together at inordinately expensive places for over ten years now; we have made it into something of an art. I won’t go into how much we must have spent eating out over these years, but I can tell you that other Ruth, as she shall be known for the purpose of this piece, once nearly had a heart attack when she went to submit her expenses for her tax return.
The Working Lunch at Arbutus should have been expensive (it is, after all a renowned Michelin-starred bistro in Soho) but thanks to their brilliant £16.95 set menu, we walked away having spent just £40 each. (GOD knows where the other twenty-three quid came from, but it wasn’t anything to do with wine. Honest guv.) We popped there on Friday 13th expecting to perhaps unluckily choke on a chicken bone or fall down the stairs on the way to the toilet, but in fact had a great time. The food was faultless, and we managed to work our way through quite a selection of different beverages, including Madeira and PX Sherry! Ha. (That was not why other Ruth was late for her casting, I assure you.)
If you’d like to sample Michelin-starred food and you don’t have buckets of cash to spare (who does, anymore?) then I can’t recommend Arbutus’ set working lunch menu highly enough. As I said, the food was faultless; I went for the poached egg followed by the risotto and then the bitter chocolate mousse, other Ruth went for all opposites, apart from the same dessert. We fed each other samples of our own food and probably looked like illicit lovers, but after ten wonderful years of dining together, we care not!
You can book in for a working lunch by emailing or phoning; all details are on the webpage. www.arbutusrestaurant.co.uk
At under twenty pounds, the set menu (three courses) is purse-friendly eating at its best – you can also book in pre-theatre, so if you’re in London to catch a show then this is a perfect early evening stop-off!