Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Table Talk

20 August 2004 by
Table Talk

They just couldn't carry it off A luggage company has been criticised for an advert that appears to encourage theft from hotel rooms. The newspaper advert for Tripp's expandable suitcases reads: "Now you can steal the bathrobe as well as the toiletries." The company said that the advert was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the way guests often pilfer toiletries and take the room's stationery, coat-hangers, slippers and bathrobes. But the Advertising Standards Authority upheld 11 complaints that it encouraged people to break the law and told Tripp not to use the same wording again.

They don't have a prayer Delia Smith came up with a novel way to mark the opening Premiership match for newly promoted Norwich City Football Club last weekend. The Canaries' fans were invited to stay on after the one-all draw with Crystal Palace to celebrate a Roman Catholic mass. Smith, who with her husband is the majority shareholder in the club, is a devout Catholic and the service was held in her own Top of the Terrace restaurant at the Carrow Road ground.

Hail? Floods? All part of the fun Congratulations to the Coombe Abbey hotel in Coventry for turning a disaster into a triumph when a freak storm hit the Midlands recently. Marketing manager Peter Darrant told the extraordinary tale. "Guests and staff watched in amazement as rain turned the courtyard into a lake which flooded the front of the hotel," he said. "Guests had to leave by the rear entrance while trying to dodge hailstones, in scenes reminiscent of disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow."

And when lightning struck the hotel, fire alarms went off, automatically cutting off the gas supply and leaving wedding guests and 100 diners wondering how they'd get their dinner. Thankfully, the Abbey has three buildings, and guests were moved to the Courthouse while the chef was relocated to another building, with all staff running between buildings. Darrant quipped: "It was like the food Olympics! Despite the problems, guests seemed to enjoy the excitement."

Oi! In the crown! No pushing in!
The Queen has had to queue for lunch at her Balmoral Estate's caf‚ because she couldn't get into her own castle. Her Majesty stood in line with holiday-makers at her Scottish summer retreat because the castle was open to tourists at the time and she couldn't take up residence. According to the News of the World, the monarch ordered venison burgers at £2, bacon rolls at £1.70, and a plate of stovies and oatcakes. An estate insider said: "She had a £1 pot of tea, too, and a cake. The other diners were stunned as she then went round chatting to them."

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