Play it again, Sam 13 December 2019 Sam Harrison returns to the floor at Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios, where his brasserie is set to be a blockbuster
In this week's issue... Play it again, Sam Sam Harrison returns to the floor at Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios, where his brasserie is set to be a blockbuster
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Table talk

01 January 2000
Table talk

Penthouse is in plumb position

When a party of 20 Middle Eastern guests arrived at the May Fair Inter-Continental hotel in London for a six-week stay, they were deeply shocked that the penthouse bathroom did not have a bidet.

So upset, indeed, that they threatened to leave if one was not fitted within three hours.

To the rescue came hotel engineer Martin Ford, who installed the bidet five minutes ahead of deadline after it was rushed across London by taxi.

The hotel is now crossing its fingers that the guests will not demand the same convenience in the other 19 rooms they are occupying. After all, you can't overestimate the importance of a clean bottom.

Deep-pan pizza is served in a hipbath

The American love for gigantic portions has reached new heights. I hear from a friend just returned from Minneapolis that a restaurant is serving food on steel dustbin lids, with not a glint of the lid in sight when the food arrives.

I wonder if this will be another US trend that crosses the Atlantic.

Red card for the railwaymen

On the opening day of the World Cup, a Scotland-worshipping colleague who had to work in the office while his beloved bravehearts battled the mighty Brazil did everything to avoid hearing the result before he got home and settled in front of the video recorder.

He avoided radios, newspaper vendors, any contact with anyone who might spoil his blissful ignorance of the critical result. He only felt secure when he boarded the train home up the GNER east coast line.

Secure, that is, until the tannoy finished the catering announcements with a little extra added value: "And here is the final score of the Scotland-Brazil match…"

That's definitely food poisoning

FOOD poisoning expert Professor Hugh Pennington revealed at last week's Catering Forum conference his guiding principle for the prevention of E coli infection.

The thing to remember, he said, was that you have to prevent the transfer of faecal material from farmyard to plate. Pennington and chums cheerily refer to this as "the turd-on-the-tongue test".

As moths to the flame…

A revealing insight into the success of women-friendly pubs such as All Bar One was delivered to Catering Forum delegates by Peter Antenen, leisure industry consultant at Deloitte & Touche. Such bars, he said, had captured the audience of young, successful females: "And we all know what audience follows that."

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

The Internet is a great way to put over a positive message about your business to the whole world, but such is the freedom of expression on the Web that it works both ways. Those who hate you can display horrifying negatives.

This is what McDonald's is currently suffering from. Its corporate sites have to compete with such Big Mac unfriendly pages as I Hate McDonald's and Ronald Must Die.

Getting more than a toe in the water

Sutcliffe Catering managing director Peter Aldrich had an inauspicious start to his hospitality career, he revealed in the Mail on Sunday.

As a teenager working as a waiter in a Cornish hotel, he dropped a tray which pulled a tablecloth and spirit lamp on to the floor and almost set fire to the restaurant. The angry chef grabbed Aldrich and chucked him in the hotel swimming pool.

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