A Day at the Races

I’m not a big horse racing fan.

But I was invariably sent to cover big horse racing meetings for the “diary’ in the Evening Herald.

On one such occasion, I was sent to Galway Races.

To be honest, I don’t like the races. Everyone’s too busy, in too much of a hurry, whispering about tips or just plain drunk.

Anyway, Galway it was. 
And, as ever, I sought out the famous and if I failed to find any famous people I sought out the almost famous and if that didn’t work, I sought out people I would make famous, if only for one edition of the Herald.

And then BINGO!
I got to meet Peter Langan, legendary owners of Langan’s Brasserie in London’s Mayfair.

This was the restaurant he owned with Michael Caine and in which, in late afternoon, he could occasionally be found asleep under a table.

Among those who ate there were Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Mick Jagger, Francis Bacon, Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicholson and David Hockney.

Made for me. And he likes a jar.

So we had a few lunchtime drinks, just he and I, and decided to eat.

We went to the, eh, food tent. 

And we ate some of whatever it was they put in front of us.
“Dessert might be better,” he slurred. We had wine with the meal too or maybe a meal with the wine.

“Bring us the dessert menu,” he commanded.

The waitress brought it. 

Remember, this man ran a restaurant in London, had hired a Michelin starred chef for its kitchen and was about to order dessert.

“I’ll have the Black Forest Gateau,” he said, turning to me to add “You can’t go wrong with Black Forest Gateau.”

“It’s not defrosted yet,” the waitress said.

The look on his face told a story. He stood up without saying a word.

And we returned to the bar.

Peter died aged just 47 in 1988.

Great company. Unassuming at least, when I was on the lash with him he was.

And we had a great day.

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