We gazed out into the garden in the pre service calm before the storm, parasols gently fluttering in the pleasant sirroco blowing warmth into our faces,colourful blooms dancing in the sunlight.
At last a perfect summers day.
Despite this there was a feeling of impending doom.
'I think we're going to get arse-rodded today..'said the Blonde wistfully...
Which proved nothing if not an accurate prediction.
By the height of the lunchtime rush hour with only one remaining table free in the garden,a table of six eating inside decided they would 'go outside to eat their starters but would we keep their table reserved indoors in case they wanted to come back in'
This is a new phenomena.
People expecting to reserve multiple tables.
A similar thing happened on the following evening.I was approached by a lady whom Id noticed sitting near the bar area earlier on.
'Excuse me that couple have sat at MY table '(pointing at a table in the middle of the dining area)
This puzzled me somewhat,I could see that the lady's companion remained comfortably seated at the table near the bar area.
'But don't you already have a table?' I say
'Yes we're sitting at a table over there but when we have our food we want to move over to that table,I already asked the girl on the bar if that was ok and she said it was'
'Yes but at that time there was no one sitting at that table,now there is so unfortunately you wont be able to sit there'
'Cant you move them?? It is my Birthday and I WANT to sit there..'
She was very persistent,right up to my face, almost threatening.
As it happens the couple who were sitting at the table normally like to sit over near the bar area but because all tables were taken and the bar being exceptionally busy they had taken a table further away from the bar than they would normally have liked.
'I'm afraid I cant ask someone to stand just so you can enjoy the benefit of two tables'
(Obviously two tables of two = four bums on seats not two..sigh..its a no brainer isn't it?)
I might have to start wrapping up pressies for the ones who want to play musical chairs...
We've also experienced another strange phenomena recently which is occurring with increasing regularity.
People reserving tables but omitting to mention that are bringing along X amount of children.
HELLO.. KNOCK, KNOCK on SCREEN.
Children are people too,they also require seats so if you don't book for them don't be disgruntled when we don't have any chairs left or a big enough table to sit you at.Unless you expect them to stand of course..
A large party experienced the repercussions of this error last Sunday when they had to sit out in the garden on a particularly blustery day after reserving a table for six then arriving with 5 additionals..
Please brace yourselves.We've had a serious complaint.Via e-mail no less:
My wife and I called in this evening for a drink and a sandwich having
heard good things about your food.
(I bet your friends ordered a meal..)
> We ordered the Lake District cheddar
and pickle sandwich each. I was told
> it came with a salad
(Please note the clue here is in the word garnish..)
> How disappointed we were when they arrived. Salad
garnish consisted of a
> few very bitter leaves. No tomato, cucumber
(Sorry about that,admittedly once outside the protection of the M25 one does expect to be provided with tomato,cucumber,red onion,grated carrot and perhaps even a segment of orange or two...)
> The main problem however, was the sandwich itself.
cheese and pickle did taste fine,(hoorah!) but the fact that the cheese was
grated,(que??) and that it was served in a cheap white burger type bun was
> All together it made it feel like we were in a roadside cafe,
> somewhere we thought would provide us with a special experience.
(though the cheese and chutney sarnie is undoubtedly tasty, I'm struggling to come to terms with it being a special experience..am I missing something??..anyone??)
Here's my response:
I'm very sorry that you did not enjoy your experience.
sandwiches are all served with a simple salad garnish with french
dressing,our staff are advised to explain that the garnish consists of mixed
leaves only(Mache,curly endive,red chard and oak leaf lettuce).Im very sorry that
in your case this didnt happen.
The bread which we serve our sandwiches
on is sourced from a Master baker,
who delivers direct to
us every morning.I can assure you this
bread is not cheap,the bun is a large
Scotch Bap and not a burger bun.We did
trial two bakeries before deciding on
this particular baker after canvassing
feedback from lunchtime diners.
not sure why the cheese being grated was a problem,this is more time
consuming for us,but we are of the opinion that this provides better
presentation than simply slicing the cheese.
We believe that at £4.50 our
cheddar and chutney sandwich offers excellent
value for money,especially
given the amount of good quality cheese and
buy cheaper but all the ingredients we use are carefully sourced,we
mass produced products,most of our menu is sourced within
we are committed to supporting the local economy and
keeping food miles
Im really upset to think that you felt you were seated at a roadside
this is really not the impression we strive to give,we spend a lot of
and expense on creating what we hope is a pleasant environment both
the pub and in the garden.
Had we known you were dissatisfied we
would have been more than happy to
provide an alternative menu item which
might have been more to your
taste.Perhaps a starter if you were looking for
something light but a bit
more special than a simple sandwich?
would like to visit us again I would be happy to fulfil this offer.
would like to thank you for taking time to write as we do
feedback from our customers,if you would like to discuss the cheese sandwich further
hesitate to contact me.
I asked Chef to proof read the e-mail before I sent it.
He scratched his chin thoughtfully.
'Can I make a suggestion?'
Self:'Yes of course'
'Why don't you just send '---- off, you t---s'
That's why I'm in charge of PR and not him....
PS I haven't heard anything back yet. Perhaps my last paragraph may have got their backs up...