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Extracts from Caterer’s archives

The sixties

A new power to be given to local authorities to provide refreshment facilities on public commons led to a row in Parliament this week.

MPs argued that many commons did not need these facilities. And where they were necessary, they claimed, the job could be done better by private caterers.

But the Government insisted that refreshment facilities must be provided on commons where they were required.

The seventies

The Post Office bit off more than it could chew last week when it invited top management from 10 leading hotel chains to listen to a presentation on the completion of a recent survey into telecommunications problems of hotels.

As soon as the presentation ended and questions were put from the floor, criticism became the dominant theme.

The PO had said it was worried by the high surcharges placed on guests’ phone bills, especially for international calls. One of the hoteliers said: “I cannot think it is other than impertinence that a supplier should question what we charge for services. I do not think it is the business of the PO to study what we charge our customers.”

Another hotelier asked the three PO men present what they intended to do about wildly inaccurate phone bills he had been sent – out not just by a few units, but by several thousand.

The eighties

Top London chef Anton Mosimann has this week strongly denied reports that he is to quit the Dorchester and start his own restaurant. Speaking from the five-star hotel on Monday, Mr Mosimann said: “It is all very silly, and I am very upset that these things are being written without consulting me. It’s not true.”

Mr Mosimann joined the hotel in 1975 as executive sous chef at the two-Michelin-star Grill Restaurant, rising to maitre chef des cuisines in December of that year.

Rumours that he is to leave the hotel have been rife for seven months. Newspapers linked him with the White Elephant club in London’s Mayfair as far back as last summer, but this has proved to be unfounded.

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