Table talk

01 January 2000
Table talk

Just a warped sense of style

The Rheingold Club in Mayfair, one of London's oldest night clubs, is seeking investors to join a consortium to buy out the existing owners.

As well as a share in the club's profits (or losses, as was the case in 1995), prospective investors are offered lifetime membership and an entertainment allowance based on the sum they hand over.

It is admitted in the consortium's brochure that the Rheingold has been stuck in a time warp, but investors are told this gives the club an "added advantage in its strong uniqueness of character". Does that mean it's old and shabby?

A Scottish delicacy from Scandinavia

It may be the chieftain o' the pudding race, but is it Scottish? That's the question posed by Clarissa Dickson Wright, half of the TV duo Two Fat Ladies, in her book The Haggis: A Little History.

Ms Dickson Wright caused a stir at the book's launch last month when she stood by her claim that haggis was a Scandinavian name, and that the dish might hail from there too.

The Scots, however, have defended their national dish at length in their newspaper, the Scotsman. "I remain convinced haggis is Scottish," said Scotsman reporter Robert McNeil, adding wryly: "But then again, she is a bigger writer than me."

A case of Santa's little helpers

London's exclusive Stafford hotel has not only got the Christmas spirit, it's sharing it with others in the shape of a 50% discount in the bar, every evening from 6pm to 9pm.

But not just anyone can benefit - to participate, you must be a hard-working Father Christmas.

The hotel informs me there are currently 33 such gentlemen working in the capital's department stores and grottos, and the special offer is going down a storm with them.

"They spend eight hours a day having their laps peed in, their toy sacks infiltrated and their beards pulled off. We're providing the perfect tonic for any war-weary Father Christmas," said a hotel spokesman.

Don't anyone say ‘gobble, gobble'

David Singleton, manager of Jefferson's restaurant and bar in Solihull, succeeded in buying the champion turkey at last week's charity auction in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.

Last year, Mr Singleton was pipped to the post by famous vegetarian Linda McCartney. So this year he went along accompanied by Mr and Mrs Santa Claus, cheerleaders and two US police outriders as helpers.

The 60lb bird raised £1,410 for children's and Alzheimer's charities, while the turkey itself will now enjoy Christmas (alive and unstuffed) at a local school's children's farm.

Who's taking care of the chickens?

Still talking turkey, Nando's restaurants are doing their seasonal best to do turkeys a good turn by boosting sales of their speciality chicken instead. "A turkey's for life, a chicken's for Christmas," claims the chain.

Ardent turkey protectors can even show how much they care about the birds by using Nando's loyalty card, which tracks how many turkeys they have saved by eating chicken.

Somehow, I don't think Ms McCartney will approve of this particular Save the Turkey campaign.

Fancy a breast or a legover?

Watch out for male managers at your Christmas party. A survey, sponsored by Durex, found that 44% of men aged over 35 who thought they were likely to have casual sex said the office party was their best chance.

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