Some things change when you become a parent, I have learnt. And one of the main things that drops off your social life is the joy of eating out. Or at least eating out, eating posh nosh.
Eating at friends is one thing - where you can thrown the little 'un in a travel cot and tuck in. But adding up the cost of a meal at The Ivy and then throw on top the costs of a baby-sitter, a taxi and a few drinks to follow, you soon realise that the salary of a journalist won't lend itself to such extravagances.
So it was a nice to know that my wife, toddler and I could eat to our heart's content in the capital's finest this weekend at Taste of London without making me take out a second mortgage.
The idea is a simple one. Taste of London is a giant food fare where, with tokens called Crowns, you can glide from food stall to food stall, sampling the best of the best.
It was with regret, then, that the whole affair left me cold.
dFor a start it was a bit of a rugby scrum. The place was packed. Which meant you had to battle for seats on which to eat your grub - not something you associate with the niceties of Fine Dining. More Brighton Pier than The Connaught.
Then it all felt a little over-priced. I know that you would pay an arm and a leg to eat in some of these places (which included restaurants like Al Duca, Canteen, Fifteen Restaurant, Inn the Park, Mela, Roka and Zilli Fish). But then you get all the service and the panache with it.
In contrast, these were burger stalls (or as good as). But it still cost £3 for an ice cream or £5 for a plate of rice with one bit of chicken on it. At that doesn't include the £15 entrance fee. Yes, the food was good, but if you are going to do open-air, canteen cooking, then you should price yourself alongside stalls that you'd find in Camden or Borough Market. I reckon £3 a pop for all dishes would have been about right.
The third thing that got me was how badly some chefs had gauged the event. If you do want to feed the hungry masses in the summer heat do you serve up slow-cooked meat with dauphinois potatoes (Le Gavroche)? OK. Some places pushed out the summer fruits and sorbets, but not the majority.
Fourth. There was no free water. And it was very hot.
All in all it was an experience, but one that was a bit too crowded, de-hydrated, over-priced and too-rich-food-for-the-summer to my liking. Then again I am a whingeing parent, so it might not have been pitched to the likes of me.
But for me it all begs the question - can Britain really do food fairs or should we just leave that to the French?