Grace Dent shares awkward moment she was turned away from restaurant

Restaurant critic Grace Dent opens up about mortifying moment her and her partner were refused entrance to exclusive Mayfair restaurant Sexy Fish for violating strict formal dress code

  • Grace Dent opened up to Amanda Wakeley about her relationship with clothes  
  • 49-year-old was turned away from Sexy Fish in Mayfair over partner’s trousers
  • She admitted that she doesn’t look at clothes that are made for her age-group

Grace Dent has opened up about the mortifying moment her and her partner were turned away from an exclusive London restaurant for ‘violating’ the formal dress code.

The English columnist, broadcaster and author made the embarrassing confession while appearing on Amanda Wakeley’s new podcast Style DNA.

The 49-year-old told designer Amanda, 60, that she recently wanted to have dinner at the Asian restaurant Sexy Fish in Mayfair.

However, Grace and her partner – who she has never named – were turned away at the door thanks to his pricey yet overly casual attire, which included ‘£450 fireproof trousers’. 

Grace Dent (pictured in April 2022) spoke to Amanda about her opinions on dress codes. She is pictured here at the GQ Food & Drink Awards in 2022

Grace, 49, (pictured) spoke to Amanda Wakeley on her new podcast, Amanda Wakeley: StyleDNA, about her relationship with clothing – revealing that she doesn’t look at clothes marketed at her age-group

She explained: ‘I was with my partner and were in Mayfair […] and we were walking past [the restaurant] Sexy Fish. 

‘And my partner was wearing this ridiculous pair of trousers that he got that were worth about £450 and they’re like fireproof. And they’re so stupid.’

Describing how she’s never been fond of his wipe-down trousers, she added: ‘He says they’re going to last forever and I’m like, “I know”!

‘So we get to the door of Sexy Fish and I say, shall we just have a cocktail? […] And they wouldn’t let us in because he had his £450 fireproof trousers on.’

In 2020, the restaurant hit headlines when they refused to serve popstar Jess Glynne after she turned up in a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie.

The award-winning restaurant Sexy Fish, where steaks cost up to £105, clearly lists on its website: ‘We request that guests do not wear sportswear, beachwear, ripped jeans, flip flops, sliders or workout trainers (smarter, fashion trainers may be permitted)’.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Grace opened up about her style evolution and why she no longer feels pressure to follow trends religiously.

Amanda also spoke to Grace (pictured) about the one item of clothing that ‘really means the most’ to her 

She explained: ‘I used to go out – I mean I’m a Northern woman – I used to go out practically naked.

‘I remember when we were in Ibiza and getting ready to go out and it would be like the bikini, some kind of little bikini bra top and a little skirt, and a pair of long-length leather boots and a tiny little purse. 

‘Just a purse with a credit card in it. And off out the door! And then thinking, “God, why is everyone looking at me in this restaurant?!” Sitting there with just an enormous pair of large oiled pair of boobs in a restaurant.’  

Amanda also spoke to Grace about the one item of clothing that ‘really means the most’ to her. 

The author replied: ‘I’ve still got the dress that I got married in. I’m not married to him anymore. 

‘But I’ve still got that dress. We’d just had a very informal marriage, we got married in Vegas, and I’ve still got the dress. I love the dress – this is the problem! I’ve still got that dress and I can’t quite give it away.’

Grace told Amanda that although she doesn’t look at clothing for her age group, she doesn’t want to age disgracefully

Describing how she still wears it to this day, Grace continued: ‘It’s a turquoise patterned T-dress, and it’s in the exact colour that I love.  It’s nipped at the waist and it’s flattering. […] And you can put it on and look a million dollars. 

‘And I do sometimes wander if my ex husband sometimes, watching TV, casually one night eating Pop Tarts, and he looks and he goes: “Is that the dress she wore? I’m sure I know that dress.”’

Amanda Wakeley recently launched her weekly 12-part podcast series, Amanda Wakeley: Style DNA, in which she interviews the likes of Trinny Woodall, Grace Dent and James Blunt about how fashion has shaped their lives. 

She told MailOnline: ‘I always designed because I knew the power of feeling comfortable in your clothes, whether it’s a big old cocooning cashmere sweater or a wedding dress that’s going to make you feel like a complete goddess.

‘I’m interested in the whole psychology of how wearing something that makes you feel great can really impact your day. And, the counter, how if you don’t feel like you’ve quite got it together, you’re not going to have such a good day.’

  • Amanda Wakeley: StyleDNA is available to listen to now

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