The Eater at Quaglino’s with Waugh

The London edition of, an online food journal, has done a profile on the long-lived Mayfair establishment of Quaglino’s. Waugh’s association with Quaglino’s was mentioned in a previous post that was based on the restaurant’s own advertising copy. In her article for, Phillipa Snow fills most of her story (“Quaglino’s: A History of Restaurant Glamour”) with reports of the restaurant’s fame as a place for celebrities to do what they do best (which does not necessarily involve enjoying a meal). In recounting the restaurant’s history, Snow mentions Waugh:

Evelyn Waugh, the author, took his mistress, Audrey, there at least once, though it did not stop his being cock-blocked after dinner. “After cocktails,” says one record of the evening, “[Evelyn] went to Quaglino’s with Audrey … From dinner, Waugh went to a party. Then went round to Audrey’s for another party. There he waited for hours to sleep with Audrey but ‘she was too tired.’”

The “Audrey” would be Audrey Lucas and the “record” of the evening is that recounted by Duncan McLaren on his Evelyn Waugh internet site where there is a detailed and well-researched description of Waugh’s on-and-off affair with Lucas. This particular Quaglino visit is sourced from Waugh’s diary for 19 June 1930. Waugh was a frequent customer at Quaglino’s in 1930, the year after it opened. He recounts in his diaries at least 3 dinners with Audrey and one with Nancy Mitford on its premises in a four-week period (Diaries, pp. 316-23). Two years later, he returned with Teresa Jungman and entertained her the night before leaving for British Guiana. See previous post.

Snow sums up her estimation of the restaurant as more a place to be seen than to eat:

…Quaglino’s is a place for looking, being looked at. Food and drink could not be anything but secondary to the mood.

Indeed, Snow doesn’t even tell us what she ate, although she does mention the drinks (strong and expensive) and the ashtrays (Art Deco).

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