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Thanks to lockdown, the business lunch is dead. Here’s how to revive it

The brooding, agitated psychodrama in three courses is no more. Time for a more enjoyable alternativeWhen I was nine, I thought adult glamour was owning one of those really flat Italian racers, the kind that beat everything else in Top Trumps Supercars. In my early teens, having grown up significantly, I realised that sophistication was in fact one of those 1980s frothy cocktails, with a sparkler in it. Towards the end of my teens, I finally recognised a much more mature, achievable and immeasurably less stupid goal than a flaming drink or a motor with no legroom: the business lunch.I imagined myself filling the windows of my leatherette-bound Filofax with pencilled arrangements for deliciously gossipy meals, out of which marvellous plans would bubble organically. This, it seemed to me, was the very essence of being a grown-up. Over a sparkling aperitif I would be sounded out about some new shiny-floored TV project, and I would lean in across the table, so as to project my best “I’m very interested” face. During the starters I would bag a commission for a magazine cover story. As they cleared away the remains of my lamb rump with borlotti beans my companion and I would plot our route to career greatness. Continue reading…