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

What? No black pudding?

Scotland celebrates Robert Burns with an annual haggis supper. Now the Pennington Midland hotel in Bradford is seeking to honour Yorkshire's great scribe, JB Priestley.

In perhaps the most famous of his wartime radio broadcasts JB described to a hungry nation the look and smell of a meat and potato pie he had seen in a shop window.

Fittingly, the supper will have as its centrepiece just such a meat and potato pie, solemnly paraded into the dining room by a brass band playing On Ilkley Moor Bar T'at.

Having their break and Beating it

Hyatt Hotels has released a survey on the holiday habits of high-ranking executives. Holidays are very important to them, with 77% saying they would choose a holiday over a raise.

All very well, but high-ranking executives are not noted for turning down salary increases. Usually they have bigger salary increases than their staff and take holidays as well. To adapt an adage, there are lies, damned lies and surveys.

Let the train take your brain

Table Talk was bemused by a recent press release on a new appointment, which mentioned that the person's career history included a stint with Venice Simpleton Orient Express. Could this be a Freudian slip of a reference to a fool and his money soon being parted in relation to the less-than-budget-priced services offered by the Venice Simplon Orient Express?

The pony express ran out of carrots

Caterer is always glad to see mention in the provincial press for winners of our awards and competitions, but we usually hope for a less sleepy reaction than the Blackpool Evening Gazette's at the end of last month.

The paper's Saturday restaurant section reported that Carol Arbuckle from Lawdy's Brasserie in the nearby village of Poulton had won an award.

The trouble is, the "news" was that Carol's award was won at Hotelympia, which was held in early February. We'll try to resist regionalist jokes about the time it takes for news to reach Blackpool.

Giving away more than the bride

Scottish hotelier David Assenti turned away some £14,000-worth of business last month when he closed down Cromlix House hotel in Kinbuck, Perthshire, for three days.

He married off his eldest daughter in the hotel's private chapel and threw a house party for the couple's families. It's a financial sacrifice that could make even the proudest parents blushing bride flinch.

But he wasn't the only one showing a generous spirit. As if to prove that Cromlix House is one big happy family, eight former staff volunteered to come back and help out on the big day when they learned that the general manager had quit and the new incumbent would only be in place for three days before the wedding.

And what really astonished Assenti was the fact that "two of them even closed their own restaurant to come back to Cromlix".

Not with a bang, but a whimper

Word reaches me from France of a fiendish development by Champagne producer Leclerc Briant.

It has drilled a tiny hole in the neck of its bottles, which is covered by a plastic tab. Pull a cord and the tab comes off, letting the gas out with a faint hiss. You can then ease out the cork with no loud crack or unruly spray of foam.

Bubbly without the pop? Mark my words, it will never catch on.

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