SUNDAYS start with a swim at Riverview with my son Zach, who's four. We've done this every Sunday morning for the past couple of years . . . it's a good start to the day. I'd try and stay in bed until 10 or 11 because I'll have been working until late the night before, but Zach mightn't always cooperate with that. We wouldn't go in for a big breakfast before swimming, so afterwards we'll head over to the Four Seasons for lunch. We go with my friend Shay Dempsey (of Zoo, hairdresser to the great), his wife Elaine and their kids.
The Four Seasons on a Sunday is the only place to be with kids . . . they just get it in a way that no other hotel does, the whole place is completely family orientated and you see the same faces there week after week because it's just so good, the service is unbeatable. We eat in the cafe and John Healy, the best maitre d' in Ireland, looks after everyone impeccably . . . nothing is too much trouble. We're hungry after the swim and there's a great kids menu. Zach might have lamb chops or homemade fish fingers, I tend to have something different each time. They have a fantastic thing in the cafe which is the high point of lunch for the children . . .
it's a trolley laden with sweets, and the kids go up and they get a Spiderman or Barbie bowl and they point at what they want and the server fills up the bowl for them. It's totally un-PC but the kids are in heaven. They go out into the garden, run around and work off their sugar high while we have another glass of wine or cup of coffee.
After lunch, Zach and I might head over to Dundrum and catch a movie . . . I love the cinema there, the seats are so big and comfortable. If the film's not great it's a good place for a snooze.
We started opening the restaurant on a Sunday evening a couple of months ago, people kept on asking me to and I couldn't keep on saying no. We open from five and until seven. It's mainly families who come in; a lot of them would be friends and their children. At seven the families head home and the grown ups start to arrive.
We have a piano player, Will, who plays until nine and after that there's a live jazz band until midnight. A lot of our customers would be regulars . . . restaurant people, hairdressers, media folk . . . people for whom Monday morning isn't quite the big deal that it is for the rest of the population.
The restaurant's been open for 14 months now and it couldn't have gone better.
We won Conde Nast World Traveller's award for the best newcomer in Ireland.
The Wolseley in London won it in the UK so we're in very good company. They called us up to congratulate us, it was like Marco Pierre White phoning to say he liked last night's steak. It felt like we'd arrived. We got a lot of business from that.
Americans cut these things out and keep them; you'd be amazed.