The Dorchester is one of the finest traditional luxury hotels in London – it has a long and distinguished history and has always attracted the top personalities of the day.
Recently it played host to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who were in London for the Baftas – the UK equivalent of the Oscars.
But when it came to a pre-Baftas meal, they shunned not only the hotel’s classy Alain Ducasse restaurant, where meals are around £100 ($144), but also any number of other Michelin-starred places.
Instead, they opted for a £20 ($29) a head meal at the Noor Jahan, a curry house in the South Kensington area. They were joined by former supermodel Claudia Schiffer and her film director husband Matthew Vaughn, as well as actor Robert Downey Junior.
The party apparently dined on a feast of vegetable samosas, tandoori lamb chops and the house special, lamb passanda – a favourite dish of Vaughn’s, who recommended the 40-seat restaurant.
And it seemed they wanted a low-key night out to match their choice of restaurant. Shauyab Ahmed, part-owner of the restaurant, said: “Some of the staff asked them for autographs, but they didn’t want to give them. They just wanted to chat, so we didn’t take photographs.”
Perhaps the meal was the best part of their evening, as neither won a celebrated Bafta mask: Pitt, nominated as Best Actor for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, lost out to Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler. Jolie, nominated as Best Actress for Changeling, was beaten by Kate Winslet in The Reader.
by Andy Moreton