Spandau Ballet.jpgThe stars of the industry were out at last night’s National Restaurateurs Dinner at London’s Park Lane Hotel. Roy Ackerman, Bob Walton of the Restaurant Association, Lexington’s Tim West, chefs Jason Atherton, Brian Turner and John Williams from the Ritz, Andrew Davis of von Essen and Bob Cotton were among the hundreds who gathered to raise cash for the Restaurant Association, Academy of Culinary Arts and Academy of Food and Wine Training.

In total, well over £25,000 (and counting) was raised on the night, most of it from an auction that featured such tempting highlights as a visit to the Martell cognac house, a weekend the Prague Rocco Forte Collection hotel, the Augustine, and a stay for six people at Bovey Castle.

Last week’s Independent Restaurateur Catey winner, James Thomson, was clearly in a mood to prolong his personal celebrations, as he bagged a gourmet, chauffeur-driven tour of London that will take in Zafferano, Aubergine and L’Oranger, courtesy of the London Fine Dining Group and von Essen.

And Richard Shepherd revealed himself as a closet Spandau Ballet fan, when he successfully bid for a set of tickets to see the elaborately coiffeured, be-frilled Eighties popsters in concert this autumn.