A few days after Robin leaves Chapman Farm, Strike arranges a meeting with Sir Colin Edensor to update him on Robin’s discoveries. Sir Colin is in Central London for another meeting, so he offers to buy Strike lunch at Rules in Covent Garden. Rules is the oldest restaurant in London, having operated continuously on the same site since 1798.
Strike chooses to walk to Rules ‘as part of his continued commitment to weight loss.’ (It’s about a twelve-minute walk from Denmark Street to Rules – how would he have travelled there in the pre-diet days?) On the way there, he speaks to Lucy about the appointment Ted has just had with a specialist (chapter 90).
‘Rules, which Strike had never visited before, lay in Maiden Lane and had an impressive old-world frontage. Upon telling the maître d’ who he was meeting, Strike was shown through the restaurant, of which the walls were bestrewn with antlers, Victorian prints and antique clocks, to a red velvet booth in which Sir Colin, kindly faced as ever, was sitting’ (chapter 90).
A waiter arrives and offers them menus and drinks; they decline the drinks.
Strike tells Sir Colin about all the information that Robin had managed to find out about Will whilst she was at Chapman Farm. Sir Colin is understandably upset.
‘The waiter now arrived with their food. Strike glanced with some envy at Sir Colin’s steak and kidney pudding…’
‘…he’d ordered sea bass, and he was becoming increasingly bored of fish’ (chapter 90).
They continue to discuss Robin’s experiences at the farm and make plans for the continuing investigation. Both men decline the pudding menu but order coffee.
On the way back to the office after lunch, Strike is still hungry ‘after his meagre meal of fish’ but he notices how much easier it is to walk since he has lost weight (chapter 90).
You can find Rules on the map below: