Founded in the 1940s, Le Caprice was acquired and relaunched in 1981 by two restaurateurs, Jeremy King and Chris Corbin. It became established as one of the most fashionable eateries in London for close to a quarter of a century. It was a favourite haunt of Princess Diana, among many of the famous and foremost, glitterati and literati – Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Joan Collins, Martin Amis and many more. Close to the Ritz Hotel on Piccadilly, it did a roaring trade until 2005, when it was sold to Richard Caring, a businessman who owns several restaurants himself.

The dining room is like going back in time – well, that is if one could go back far enough in time to have been in this place before

But in March, it came back. That is not strictly true – it is now called the Arlington, on account of the street it’s in, because Caring retains the rights to the name ‘Caprice’. But what Jeremy King has essentially done is to recreate Le Caprice, down to the decor, the blue neon light above the entrance, the mirror behind the bar (a vital ingredient of the ambience given that people-watching is a big deal here), the black-and-white David Bailey photographs and, yes, the menu. They say you should never go back but I can assure you that in this instance ‘they’ would be wrong.

Crispy duck and watercress salad was my choice of starter – and an excellent one

In an interview he gave to the London Evening Standard in January, King spoke of his hopes for the project. “There is a lovely quote about if you try to get people to like you, you end up not being truly liked by anyone. And I subscribe to that: we have to be ourselves, with integrity, and I would hope that a new generation would be interested to see what it was about.” Based on my experience of getting a reservation, and how full it was when we got to our table at 2 pm, I think the next generation is indeed interested in doing that. (Not forgetting the older generation also being very interested!)

The loin of tuna was served with spiced lentils and was tasty and chunky

I mentioned how the menu also connects with the past. The appearance thereon of, for example, bang bang chicken and salmon fishcakes in sorrel sauce duly speaks to that. The menu is in the main classic brasserie fare, and I mean that as a compliment rather than an understatement. My wife had seared scallops with chilli and garlic butter to start and thought they were wonderful,; likewise the baked sea bass which followed it.

Among the many David Bailey masterpieces on show is this one, circa 1966, of the Rolling Stones…but it’s for men only, I’m afraid – it’s displayed in the gents

OK, so we had lunch at Le Caprice….sorry, the Arlington, and we enjoyed it enormously. There’s nothing else for it: we’ll now have to get down to organising a booking for dinner. I think I will find it impossible to resist one of the steak tartare or the Bannockburn rib-eye steak with bearnaise sauce.