‘Every time I walk in the door of the Groucho on Dean Street I feel so lucky to be a member. As I am now a hillbilly, living in deepest East Sussex, it is even more of an intoxicating treat than it used to be. I have a ritual. I get to Charing Cross and visit the National Gallery before closing. Take in Uccello’s Battle of San Romano or Titian’s Death of Actæon, or whatever painting I have fallen in love with, reflect how impossible it is to be a good painter, and hot foot it to Grouch for several delicious daiquiris or dry Martinis with a friend before we go
to the opera or theatre.
‘Whenever I have a private view in London, we always go on to a heavenly supper on a long table in the brasserie with friends, and crawl up to bed in the small hours after singing round the piano. Nursing a hangover in the morning is offset by a restorative breakfast in the ravishing dining room. It’s such a grown-up room — like being somewhere in Paris — it always takes me by surprise. And I adore being surrounded by so many lovely pictures, several by good mates, and some by a younger generation of artists, a few of whom I have even taught in art school!’