Mount Street, in London’s Mayfair, is not for the weak of heart, or of wallet. When I read of a new delicatessen that promised to offer the best of what Mount Street’s celebrated (read: expensive) establishments serve, I couldn’t resist. From Annabel’s chocolate cake to Harry’s Bar pizzas, here was the promise of a new affordable option I prayed would not disappoint.
The original plan was to get there for brunch. But a big night out at Vertigo 42 (fabulous views, snooty service) and Viajante (still the best Skye Julep) ensured I didn’t get to the Mount Street Deli until well after lunch time. The Deli is heart-warming. It is teeny and packed with so much deliciousness that I couldn’t help but fall in love at first sight. The adorable waiter helped me choose my Roast Veg and Manchego Foccacia (£6) and settled me into one of their two tables outside. I sipped on the most perfect cappuccino (£2.80, second only to my favourite at Flat White in Soho) and lusted at Louboutin’s window across the street.
The Deli has been sent up for the Cipriani guys by Hannah Gutteridge. Her passion for food doesn’t show on her dress size, but is clearly evident in the food on display. I had to tell her how much I loved the sandwich. And she made me promise I would come back for more. I will.
One of the many joys of eating alone, I discover, is that I am not distracted by having to make conversation. Today I could eavesdrop in peace. The table next to me was occupied by a dashing American, an old Paul Newman in his 80s. He was on the phone to (I later find out), his 96-year old neighbour. He spent several minutes describing the menu to her in the hope that he could bring her something to eat. Just before giving up he said, “I think I may have to marry you Alice, you’re the only woman I know who doesn’t ever need anything!”
His corn chowder arrived and he said to the waiter, “I do hope this is delicious, then I will be a very, very satisfied man”.
Satisfaction. I have been thinking about this all week. At the moment I seem to be surrounded by people who don’t seem satisfied, in spite of having their “one wish” come true. There is the girl at the office who has been miserable at work for as long as I’ve known her. She was finally offered a dream job with a dream company and she could barely bring herself to crack a smile. Then there is this friend from home. For the 10 years she has spent in a loving relationship, she has yearned for her parents approval. And when that finally happened, all she could manage to say about the official meeting of the parents was “as well as could be expected”. And then there is Carrie Bradshaw who spent 94 TV episodes and one movie trying to get the man she loves to love her back. And now that he does, she chooses to shroud the stability of their love in a hideous caricature of TV and take-out.
What is it about our dreams coming true that scares us so much? The possibility that we won’t have something to work towards? The probability that we will never be satisfied, no matter how many wishes comes true? Or is it that we spend so much time wishing for something that we are afraid to admit that we may not want it anymore?
So for a New York minute, but only for the minute, I wonder if I should stop wishing for my dreams to come true? And then I remember this from an episode of One Tree Hill:
“Make a wish, place it in your heart, anything you want. Everything you want.
Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is gonna come from, the next smile, the next wish come true.
But if you believe it is right around the corner, and you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it…
…you just might get the thing your wishing for.
The world is full of magic. You just have to believe in it. So make your wish. Do you have it?
Good. Now believe in it. With all your heart.”
Go ahead, make your wish…