Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at Marcus, the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Berkeley Hotel, London, just as the lunch service is getting started. Perfectly blonde, tanned and freckled, the Oscar-winning actress and founder of the online wellness empire Goop radiates the sort of golden aura possessed only by the really, truly famous. But even she can’t take the edge off the froideur in the private dining room, which, with its tasteful greys and air of whispered deference, feels a little frigid. We politely study the menu, a delectation of seasonal recipes whose highlights include a lamb’s neck, cooked for 36 hours, served with miso and girolles, and roast bream with Dorset snails. It all sounds deliciously inedible. “Oh my God,” says Paltrow in that familiar flat-vowelled American drawl. “What the hell are we going to eat?” She looks at the menu once more before announcing: “I can’t eat this shit. Let’s just go up to my suite and order room service . . . ” Turns out the author of five ...

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