Passing Langan's Brasserie Mayfair by chance, I think of my old friend Richard Shepherd who used to own the restaurant, and I pop in to see if he is there. He is at a window table finishing lunch with a guest. He tells me that he sold the business and now lives in the South of France. As its former chef, he inherited the brasserie from its founder Peter Langan - it must be 30 or 40 years ago - and made it flourish. For a moment the years contract as we talk about the past. Among other shared memories: travelling about the country judging the Taste of England Cookery Competition at short-listed catering colleges.
Sometimes a little bit of luxury does you good. Today a treat consisting of half a dozen oysters and a glass of Champagne seems worth all the villas and yachts in Monte Carlo put together.