On the top floor of a converted warehouse, the restaurant is a discreet venue, well away from the established haunts of the political power brokers and the press. The large windows overlook the river on one side and a strangely shaped late-modernist masterpiece made out of glass and steel on the other. The light is aggressively grey yet slick, as if everything it touches is in the process of being weaponised. Stephen Otterway is five minutes late for his appointment with Tom Wren, who’s already seated and studying an enormous menu with an expression of owlishimmobility. The other customers might be architects, financial analysts, entrepreneurs or arms dealers. Although they are nearly all deep in conversation, their mouths appear to move without emitting the least sound, an effect perhaps of both the high ceiling and a need for discretion. Otterway’s glad he won’t have to watch the chairman, gargantuan and pinstriped to perfection, progressing across the carpet towards him. As it’s hard to imagine that any of Wren’s forbears could have been small, his surname must have been the work of some late medieval ironist.