From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA – PA Life Club

From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA

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I count myself lucky that my role as venue-finder supremo, looking for lovely new places where Mr P can take his important business contacts, allows me to do the rounds of some rather famous chefs. Recently, I had the pleasure of dining at The Ritz, overseen by the MBE-awarded John Williams, and I also dined at Mark Hix’s restaurant at Brown’s Hotel. Now I can add Marcus Wareing to that list, having joined a select group of top PAs earlier this week at Gilbert Scott, the charming British brasserie at St Pancras.

We were sat downstairs at the Kitchen Table which, as the name suggests, provides an amazing view of the chefs at work, while you relax at the arc-shape table. The semi-circular layout is perfect for exchanging gossip with your fellow members of the PA profession – I could spill the beans on what so-and-so’s boss has been up to, but I’m sworn to secrecy, I’m afraid!

The meal begins with a foie gras terrine with pickled rhubarb and pink champagne jelly; despite one of the guests saying that she is not a big fan of this particular fruit (or should that be vegetable?) she wolfs it down with gusto – and I’m not far behind.

Next up is a magnificent sharing platter of various beef dishes, piled high with cheeseburgers made from brisket, rare roast beef served with an essential accompaniment of gravy, Yorkshire puddings filled with mouth-watering oxtail and slices of sirloin cooked to perfection. To counteract these meaty morsels there are some splendid side dishes of new potatoes, mashed swede and carrot and winter greens (surprisingly more-ish).

The meal is rounded off by a gorgeous banana bread and butter pudding and I’m hard pressed to say whether I prefer that or the rum ice cream (this is no pale imitation, you can seriously taste the alcohol) that comes with it. Plus, each course is matched with a wine that makes for a perfect pairing; I’m particularly in awe of the dessert wine, which tastes like the proverbial nectar of the gods and is surely much too good for mere mortals.

All in all, this is an event space that provides an experience rather than just a dinner – and the format makes for the perfect ice-breaker next time you’re stuck for something to say to those new business associates from Tokyo.