Table talk: Where ruby hammer eats..

I've loved Cecconi's since Nick Jones of Soho House came on board in 2005. I went there yonks ago and found it quite stuffy, but I love it as it is now and go there quite a bit. Its old-fashioned Venetian style is fantastic. You can just sit at the bar. There's a very, very nice buzz, and the staff - all Italian speakers - are very efficient, without being uppity. You don't have to dress up. I don't like people who are full of themselves, who look at you if you're not dressed properly, even in your swankiest clothes.

by Ruby Hammer, a make-up artist and co-owner of Ruby & Milliecosmetics
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The great thing about Cecconi's is that it's not one of those places that closes at three and opens again at seven. It's open all day, with an all-day menu, so you can brunch or you can lunch or, as it's just off New Bond Street, you can just grab a bit of something inbetween shopping.

What I eat depends on how hungry I am, but I usually go for the vitello tonnato - very thin pieces of veal with a tuna sauce - and a pasta with truffle shavings, when they're in season. Or I'll have chicken paillard. I don't drink much alcohol, but at Cecconi's I'll have a kir royal.

I conduct business lunches in an informal way. That's just the nature of my business and the way I am. Just because you're having a meeting shouldn't mean that you don't want to talk to each other. It would be as dull as dishwater otherwise. And you do see a lot of people in Cecconi's - there's nobody I haven't spotted there, TV stars, Rupert Everett...

Cecconi's
5a Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3EP, 020 7434 1500, www.cecconis.co.uk
Average price: £60 per head, excluding wine

Favourite dishes
Vitello tonnato: £9
Chicken paillard with caponata: £15

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