I should say at the start that Gordon Ramsay has changed my life. I used to think culinary adventure lay in the Indian takeaway around the corner. That was until I met Miss T and we, or rather I, started to spend serious cash in restaurants from time to time, one of them belonging to Mr Ramsay. His cookbooks are on the shelves at Hendo towers, and are well thumbed.
The place of his we like is on the Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea, where we've been twice for lunch. I think it has three Michelin Stars. On each occasion I was made to feel like Frank Sinatra, and Miss T was basically romanced by the French Maitre D who is like Charles Aznavour, but with considerably more charm. The food was the best I've ever had anywhere. It is lovely.
Apparently the staff from this place used to to stagger next door after a long shift into another restaurant with considerably fewer awards, one Foxtrot Oscar. Gordon R has now bought this gaff, and naturally we were keen to go. Miss T was all for booking. But she went cold after she saw the Times (whose reviewer AA Gill he famously chucked out of one of his places), the Telegraph and Time Out.
Whither Ramsay? I am getting fed up of him now, because it seems to me that for all his cooking skill, he can't see when his image is being overcooked and popping up in too many places. The American TV show plays fast and loose with the footage and looks fixed. His places are becoming ubiquitous - Terminal 5 at Heathrow is on the cards, apparently. It seems for Ramsay, a line in the sand has been crossed. His very personal style of management we see in the telly shows can only extend so far. And if you're paying £200 for a dinner, you want something special and not a 'brand' that everyone's got access to. When spending serious money on his beloved a wise man throws democracy out of the window.