A BIT of a Thursday night blowout for this group of four diners, who spent a cosy evening at Mayfair’s new luxury Italian haunt Babbo.

In true continental style, our foodies did not spare a thought for their waistlines as they chowed their way through carpaccio, mixed antipasti and crab salad for starters; beef cheek, lobster and lasagne (made to a 100-year-old family recipe) for mains, and tiramisu and cheese for dessert.

They bumped up the bill with glasses of Perrier Jouet champagne, single servings of Aleatico sweet wine and the traditional Italian grappa. But the main financial hit came, as usual, from just one culprit – two bottles of Masseto 2005, a particularly fine Tuscan red wine, which came in at a hefty £950 a pop, pushing the evening’s total up to £2,389.50. Mamma mia!