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Business news

This was the view from the restaurant at Boisdale of Canary Wharf on Wednesday night.

I was there for a meeting with Ranald Macdonald, MD of Boisdale Restaurants.

The intention was to discuss ideas to mark Forest’s 40th anniversary next year. Or so I thought. Meetings with Ranald rarely go to plan.

Last year, for example, we met at Boisdale of Mayfair and halfway through the evening he got a call to say Kelsey Grammer (aka ‘Frasier’) was en route to Boisdale of Belgravia.

Grammer won the Cigar Smoker of the Year award in 2016 (in 2014 he came second to Arnold Schwarzenegger) and when he’s in London Boisdale - which hosts the event in Canary Wharf - is one of his favourite restaurants.

Business forgotten, we abandoned our dinner, called a taxi and raced across central London where we joined Grammer, his wife and several other people for what turned into a second meal at Ranald’s expense.

This week I arrived at the Canary Wharf restaurant expecting to find a table for two but after drinks on the terrace a small group had developed and I found myself sitting down to dinner with not just Ranald but an opera singer, someone working in ‘military intelligence’, Boisdale’s musical director, and Rebecca Ferguson, the former X-Factor contestant. (She was runner-up in 2010.)

This motley group proved very entertaining and it was well past midnight before the party broke up and we tottered home.

As for business, let’s just say that discussions will be resumed soon ...

PS. The 2018 Cigar Smoker of the Year dinner takes place at Boisdale of Canary Wharf on Monday (December 3).

Apart from Schwarzenegger and Kelsey Grammer, previous winners have included Jonathan Ross and Simon Le Bon.

The winner is a closely guarded secret until the evening of the event but on Wednesday Ranald inadvertently let the cat out of the bag.

Unlike him my lips are sealed. Watch this space.

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