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  • January

Places that inspired scenes: J sheekey

“I’ll book a table at J Sheekey’s. Fish for supper – your favourite.”

I chose J Sheekey for this scene because Zac wanted to take Lottie somewhere romantic, even though he hadn’t originally planned on proposing. It just goes to show how thoughtful and romantic he is at heart, and keen to lavish decadence on his girlfriend.

Zac spared no expense. He treated Lottie to a bottle of the 2005 Bollinger. He ate grilled lobster while Lottie chose the Dover sole. And they finished with Louis XIII cognac.

J Sheekey is an iconic restaurant based in Covent Garden, a short walk from The Ivy. It began in the 1890s with stallholder Josef Sheekey serving fish and seafood to Lord Salisbury’s after-theatre dinner parties. Its rooms are lined with original photographs of 20th century actors, reflecting its position in the heart of theatreland. Today, it is hugely popular with audiences and cast alike. Dimly-lit, but humming with vibrant chatter and west end gossip, J Sheekey is perfectly seductive for the scene in A Class Act.

I was fortunate enough to eat at J Sheekey for a friends birthday not long ago. We had cocktails at The Ivy Club first and then we all walked down the street to Sheekey’s where my friend had hired the lower ground floor – the same area where Zac and Lottie sat for their dinner.

Lottie and Zac took their seats at a secluded table in the downstairs restaurant at J Sheekey’s. “You look stunning,” Zac whispered, watching her grey slip dress ripple around her curves like water.

Oh, that fateful night! If you haven’t read A Class Act, you might want to stop reading – spoiler alert! When I wrote this scene, I hadn’t actually planned for Lottie to bump into Marcus – he just made an entrance and I wrote it down. But it was the perfect (or not-so-perfect, if you’re #teamzac) catalyst to the ending of Lottie and Zac’s relationship.

Keeping an eye on the hem of her dress, so as not to step on it, Lottie walked head on into a man. “Gosh! I’m so sorry,” she gasped, looking up in surprise. Immediately, her heart leapt into her throat. It was Marcus.

Ultimately, I wanted Lottie to be true to herself and fair to Zac. Yes, it broke Zac’s heart, and He Turned explores that further, but it would have been unfair if she’d dragged him along any longer, knowing how she still felt about Marcus.

“Zac,” she whispered, as she sat down opposite him, taking his hands in hers. “We need to talk.”

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