Andrew Edmunds | 23y

Melissa has been at Andrew Edmunds for 23 years. The Soho restaurant was initially more of a wine bar and didn’t have a fully working kitchen, just a prep station, and hot food was brought over from a couple of doors down. 2015 saw huge kitchen expansions and changes; they took over the building to the rear of the restaurant, used by Merchant Ivory at the time, and the bar was moved back by a couple of feet (look up to see the original bar fixtures in the ceiling).

Her many day to day duties as the restaurant manager include opening up, setting up the bar, stock take, ordering the wine, cashing up, hiring/firing, training, bar work and resident florist when Andrew himself isn’t next door in his antique prints shop.

She says the average age of the customer has dropped and that everyone’s a critic now owing to the boom of TV shows such as Masterchef. As such, knowledge of good food and wine has increased, though.

A framed Hogarth etching of a knife and fork resting on a pie (used for the restaurant’s logo) was stolen from the wall around 20 years ago. It was posted back without explanation around 2015 and the team’s theory is that a glowing review in the Guardian prompted a guilty return of the print.

One day an Italian man entered the restaurant flanked by two immaculately-dressed henchmen and set down a large leather bag on one of the tables. He opened it to reveal dozens of white truffles and the chef ended up buying some.