Cipriani, right opposite Claridge's in London, is a fantastic place. An offspring of Harry's Bar, the famous hotel in Venice, it is all very Italian - smart and chic with a very fast, professional service. It's well known and very glamorous and, as it's not somewhere everyone would expect to go, it's a fun place to take people.
My choice of venue - whether it's relaxed or very formal - depends on who I'm taking out and why. Sometimes, you want to sit high and spread things out across the table, and I'm a bit of a devil for taking papers along to lunch. But this place is much more relaxed. Everyone is sitting on very low chairs, which gives you a peculiar feeling when you walk in. It's not really the kind of place for thrashing out matters of business. But lunchtimes at Cipriani are fun; it's an intimate place with a lot going on.
My first time there was when someone took me for dinner, after launching the Festival of Speed. I was very impressed. It's beautifully done out inside. It has a lot of wood and a great bar, and a great staircase at the back going down to the loos, with these big portholes in the wall and videos behind them giving the feeling of being at sea, watching the waves going up and down.