Table Talk: Where Virginia Bottomley eats

My favourite restaurants are the Foyer and Reading Room at Claridge's. And, as a lifelong workaholic, my favourite meal is breakfast. I get to my office just after 6.30am, clear my e-mails, clear my mind, and get through any debris from the day before. Then at five to eight I'm ready to greet the day afresh, and walk to Claridge's to blow away the cobwebs and greet my guests. Claridge's is discreet, and it's delightful - a wonderful art deco jewel in the heart of London.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

People often talk best in the morning. My work in high-profile executive search means having confidential discussions with senior figures from commerce and public life, whether that's GMG's Paul Myners, Robin Buchanan of LBS or the CBI's Richard Lambert. You need to give people room to think creatively, and Claridge's has the right ambience.

The food is excellent. If I'm feeling virtuous, I'll eat mixed berries and low-fat yoghurt; if I'm feeling more decadent, I'll have double poached eggs and bacon. And if I'm feeling more global, I'll have the healthy Japanese bento breakfast.

The staff are friendly, and there are never any complications. I keep my eye open and often identify fellow individuals from the corporate world: Martin Sorrell of WPP is often there, as is Luc Vandevelde, formerly of M&S.

I like food, but I like conversation even more. At Claridge's you feel comfortable, you get a good meal, and you can have an excellent discussion.

The Foyer and Reading room at Claridge's
Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, 020 7409 6307 www.claridges.co.uk
Lunch set menu: £32.50
Favourite dishes: Poached eggs and bacon: £15.50
Bento breakfast: £28

Virginia Bottomley is chairman of Odgers.

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