Lunch with Patric is always most enjoyable. As one of the country's most senior Heralds he mixes with everyone from the Queen down. Not that you would ever know; he's a perfectly ordinary guy, albeit one who went to Oxford and trained as a barrister. He's just as happy meeting in the pub, a café or a small Italian restaurant as he would be at the Ritz or a gentleman's club. Meet him in the street and you'd pass him off as just another eccentric Englishman in an overcoat and a flat cap!
And so it was that Patric introduced us to a small Italian restaurant in Shepherd Market on the southern edge of Mayfair. Da Corradi is tucked away in the alley which runs from Shepherd Market into Curzon Street. It is friendly, unpretentious and small; the ground floor eating area is not spacious and only about 20 covers, but there is a larger area downstairs.
The food was excellent, generous and not at all expensive. Between us for starters we had minestrone, insalata tricolore and antipasto (which was enormous!). Then for main courses we all had pasta: spaghetti with meatballs in tomato sauce, cabonara and fusilli with salmon. Again the pasta helpings were so generous we passed on pudding. That with a bottle of house wine (a perfectly acceptable Pinot Grigio), some soft drinks and tea amounted to only just over £90 including service. Extremely good value especially for that area.
What's even better is that they are open from early to late, so you can get full English breakfast right through to a meal after the theatre. They also have a sandwich bar. We shall be going back!
We arrived at the restaurant about 1230, had a leisurely lunch and left about 3pm. This was good because Patric is always interesting to talk to and usually has some unconsidered trifle or tale of genealogical whimsy with which to amuse. Amongst other things we were discussing the correct original recipe for Buck's Fizz, which Patric has unearthed via a serendipitous route. It is also interesting to see his professional approach to genealogical research and where (and why) he is prepared to accept connections "on the balance of probabilities" rather than needing to have "100% detailed forensic certainty".
In fact lunch was sufficiently good and protracted that we ended up not doing anything else while in town other than a preprandial walk round Shepherd Market. Nevertheless my camera spotted a couple of oddities. The first was in Shepherd Market itself ...
... and yes, it really is a jeweller's!
The other was seen on the Marylebone Road.
One wonders what other services they offer?
Altogether an enjoyable, if short, day.