Jason Atherton’s cooking is often excellent, but City Social seems to go out of its way to make eating it difficult
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2 (020 7877 7703). Meal for two, including drinks: £220
You can tell a lot about a place by the punters it attracts. By that measure the City Social, Jason Atherton‘s new restaurant on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in the City, is to be avoided, at least by me. Early on I am waiting at the bar where I am approached by a middle-aged woman with hair the colour of the peroxide aisle at Boots. “I don’t normally interrupt people,” she says with the nasal twang of Alison Steadman‘s Beverly in Abigail’s Party. “But I’ll make an exception for you. I’m a newly elected Ukip MEP and a real foodie and I’d like to invite you to lunch.”
It speaks much for the Liberal-Left bubble I inhabit that I am astonished she should admit to her Ukip victory. But she’s said it with such enthusiasm that it’s clear she’s said it before and been met with applause. Not this time. “You support a party which attracts racists, homophobes and bigots,” I say. “Lunch is not going to happen.” Her lips quiver. “You’re you’re the bigot,” she shouts. And she storms off. I suppose in the sense that I am bigoted against bigots I am indeed a bigot, but only over a very narrow bandwidth.