Hosts: A struggling artist, his filthy-rich boyfriend.
Location: The Barbican, a concrete carbuncle once derided for its ugliness but now championed by artists, homosexuals.
Food: Phyllo-pastry salmon parcels, roast lamb, vegetable pie, Greek salad, sponge cake.
Drinks: Champagne, wine, port.
“We’re leaving Bermondsey. Too many knives and guns, awful schools. And I’d rather like a garden.”
“Identity cards? This is becoming an increasingly Big Brotherish world, but I refuse to carry around something that offers up all kinds of information I’d rather people didn’t know.”
“My megalomaniacal boss goes around swearing at everyone and threatening to sack us all. I swear it gives him an erection.”
“Trouble with New York is that here in London, Sex and the City is a comedy. Over there, it’s a documentary.”
Hosts: Energetic young writer-editor roommates.
Location: East End council-estate flat, bordering gloom of eighties working-class depression.
Food: West African peanut salad, Ghanaian plantain fritters, Ethiopian biscuits, Korean spinach, Turkish baklava.
Drinks: Wine, beer.
“Thierry Henry is too serene for a footballer. He has started dressing like a jazz musician.”
“Have you read about the couple in Germany? Brother and sister, separated at birth, and now they have four children.”
“In Bucharest, Ceausescu built a government building to emulate the White House, which is just ludicrous when you look at the surrounding landscape.”
“I live in Islington, I’m middle-class, and yet I have never been offered cocaine at a dinner party. I am sure in New York we’d be swimming in it now.”