Inside track: When you gotta go, you gotta go, says David Moore

23 August 2022 by
Inside track: When you gotta go, you gotta go, says David Moore

Nicola Sturgeon has done something good. The Scottish Assembly passed a law that sanitary products should be freely available to all; eminently sensible.

It reminds me of a situation almost 30 years ago, in a very high-end restaurant, with a new girlfriend. Mid-meal, sanitary products were required and I, being the dutiful new boyfriend, marched off to the restaurant reception to enquire of the possibility. Reception were excellent and two items were gratefully received; interestingly, they were both charged at £1.50 plus service charge.

From the day that Pied à Terre opened we have always offered free sanitary products in our toilets with no service charge; others should follow.

Staying on the subject of toilets, I believe it to be a human right to access a toilet. I think it is wrong to have window signs saying ‘toilets for customers only'. Not long ago, I popped into Chloe's in Islington to ask to use the toilet and was refused. I couldn't believe it – if there had been a plant it would have been watered. I'm an older man and when you've got to go, you got to go. It should be part of licensing laws that toilets are available to all. Chloe's is off my list of places to eat.

I have taken to not watching the news as it seems to be a depressing carousel of bad and depressing stories. I read a comment at the weekend: "There is no law of nature that spaces bad things apart; bad things happen and they will appear to come in clusters'.

That comment gives me hope that we are not all doomed. But is there an escape route from disaster? It seems like so much to do, like a new year's resolution. So much… so let's do nothing. Nothing is an option and any small intervention is better than none.

Using a millefeuille analogy, Raymond Blanc always used it when I was working at Le Manoir a lifetime ago, sometimes it's about single sheets layered upon on another to make something of substance. Such as putting a ‘turn it off' sign by all taps. It's the small things that add up. After conversations with us about packaging, supplier Classic Fresh Foods is no longer wrapping individual items within a box and are reusing their suppliers' boxes where possible; thank you for that Rob, another small step.

Challenging suppliers is one thing, but we must also challenge ourselves. Take, mineral water. I suspect that in 10 years no one will serve branded mineral water. Here at Pied à Terre we have switched to an in-house filtering and carbonation system that will save approximately 15,000 water bottles and about £750 in recycling bags per year, I'll take that – a positive for the environment and for the business.

Finally, we all talk about food and their seasons. Asparagus jumps out of the ground when it is ready, that is an easy one, but what about the humble cauliflower? It's in the shops all year round. It is planted twice a year in spring and autumn, but which is best? Well, I'm reliably informed that the spring planting, harvested in the summer, is the time to really enjoy it.

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