It is strange that the word ‘comfort’ does not appear in any modern architectural curriculum: you can go to lectures ad infinitum on new technology, flexible living spaces, sustainable development and demographic trends, but none on comfort. I would have thought it was a fundamental element of creating a desirable house, let alone a desirable restaurant. Students could well study Rules Restaurant for a definitive explanation. Not only is it utterly comfortable in the purest sense of the word, but, in the lowering gloom of February, it is also deeply comforting. You feel safe there. Everyone looks happy- the clients and the waiters-and isn’t that, after all, the point? Try one of the latest clickety-clackety restaurants, with tile floors and chrome fittings rendering mobile-phone tunes cacophonous, and test the level of contentment. Try, for instance, the XXXXXX in Notting Hill Gate. Look around the tables and see the worried faces, the thin veils of bonhomie over tortured souls, the desperation to be seen or to see who else is there. The exposing, cold circumstances have created a remote and unsettled atmosphere.