Town mouse attends some post-holiday parties

The mice are back in town. And this time, we’re above ground. The Tube strike flushed us out from the depths of our city and we have learnt to love Boris’s bikes. We didn’t want to miss any of the parties that have kicked off the post-holiday season.

I even used one of the ubiquitous rickshaws floating around Covent Garden to hasten to a dinner date at Chez Gérard. I didn’t have time to use it in the manner of one friend, who tells the pedaller to keep going until he has finished his Cohiba Robusto.

It may be a case of rearranging the deckchairs on Titanic, but the Chancellor’s impending Budget statement hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of diners at Le Caprice, that bastion of fine food and understated chic. It will be 30 years old next year, so knows how to survive a recession. Grouse was on the menu and the place was full.

I met another great survivor, Sir Stirling Moss, at the launch for the Goodwood Revival meeting at Hardy Amies in Savile Row. I took the opportunity to tell the indomitable octogenarian (who will be racing his car this week) that my father had been at Goodwood in 1962, when he had had his career-ending crash. Blue eyes twinkling, his riposte came back quick as a McLaren in the final straight: ‘Trouble is, so was I.’