Wednesday, November 17

Royal Engagement

After nine years, Prince William no dummy. His marriage proposal to Kate Middleton follows ups and downs which have occupied the country and keep Fleet Street humming. God bless. The engagement in a nick of time, too, what with this horrible recession. Entertainment=religion. William does not disappoint either slipping his mother's engagement band on Kate's finger, noting Di won't miss a bit of the action. I feel Di's ever-loving presence upon them smiling her approval and making us all feel special somehow. It is easy to be cynical about these things when divorces and pre-nups the accepted norm in our Western World. There are similarities, too, between Kate and Di : both "common", ie, no Royal pedigree; each tall and beautiful. They have great style and enviable hair. Di 20 when she married Prince Charles and the media exposure killed her. Kate, on the other hand, knows the score and plays it like a pro. Since '07 Kate's privacy respected by the paps whom, she notes, a reason for her break-up with Wills last time. If today's headlines any indication, this will be one of the world's most visible events ever. Game on.

Sonnet and I have dinner with Simon and Diana at a favorite place, the River Café. The restaurant owned and run by renown chef Ruth Rogers and until early 2010, Rose Gray. The R-C earned its first Michelin Star in '88 and Sonnet and I dined here first time in '97. Not easy to find either : the restaurant next to various council estates and converted warehouse blocks on the northside of the Thames in Hammersmith not too far from the Hammersmith Bridge. Chefs who have trained at R-C include Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, Ed Baines of Randall & Aubin, April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig (in New York) and celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tobie Puttock. The architectural design, by Stuart Forbes Associates and Sir Richard Rogers, simple, industrial and clean - at its opening this style years ahead of the nouveau blather now common in modern financial centers. Simon suggests the grouse, a seasonal game bird available for two months in late autumn, and it is amazing.

We met Simon and Diana at a Bat Mitzvah - Simon a venture capitalist and Diana a writer with a weekly food column for the LA Times before she moved to London. She raised a substantial amount of support for President Obama's '08 election, and we love hearing her and Simon's inside views on various affairs. Like Bush rushing his book "Decision Points" before Cheney comes out with his auto-biography which skewers el Presidente. Could be nasty. The kids home with "Rusty" and Aneta.

Photo by the paps in Ibiza.

"Religion is the opium of the people."
--Karl Marx