So, that’s John McKenna over there in the conservatory of the dining room at Ariel and those two bedraggled teenagers with him are his children: Connie and Sam. They may look like – they do look like – two street waifs whom McKenna has just rescued from a rubbish tip commune in Rio, but the truth is that they are just back from three days at the Leeds Festival, which is why they look like rubbish foragers. Three days of camping in the mud and you too can look like a Third World orphan. But, they are coming back to civilisation, after a comfy night’s sleep, and breakfast in Ariel is surely one of the best ways to do just that: brown bread, scones, banana bread; grapefruit with honey and sugar; French toast with crème fraiche and berries; poached eggs and smoked salmon with beurre blanc; a stack of pancakes with maple syrup and grilled bacon.
It’s all superb: the service is friendly, the house is buzzing, and Deirdre McDonald runs a great show in Ariel. The McKenna children will go home, and sleep for a week.