First blog of the new year (a belated Happy New Year to all!), and it’s now a month into 2017. Apparently according to the Bible, the number 17 is about “overcoming the enemy” and “victory” (appropriate I know given the start of the 6 Nations today). Spending pretty much all of my time both professionally and personally in restaurants or bars, I’ve realised there are some “enemies” in the restaurant world that need to be beaten, so here is my list…


  1. Musical Chairs: when I go to a restaurant, I trust the management and the team to place their own tables, seats, and place-settings in a way that enhances both the experience for each table and surrounding tables, and also the service. When guests decide to move things and set up their own formation like a top football manager- gets on the nerves somewhat…
  2. The Bleeding Obvious: “Oh, you want to see the dessert menus after your main course?! How novel, what an interesting idea, I must do that more often!”
  3. “We’ll share everything”: Granted, a lot of dishes and plates are designed to share, I’m talking large cuts of meat, sharing plates of meats and cheeses, all great. But tables of 3,4 or 5 all wanting to share everything? I know it’s communal and all that but I’m sorry, it’s not for me.
  4. “Do you have..?” Is it on the menu online when you booked? Is it on the menu outside the restaurant that you read when you came in? Is it on the menu in your hands right now? No? But you’re going to ask for it anyway? Menus are designed by the Chef and the restaurant to reflect his/her personality and style of food, probably seasonal, local and fresh, and an authentic reflection of the restaurant. There’s thousands of restaurants in London and the UK, with literally everything covered, but if you choose to go to a particular restaurant then I think one should respect the chef and the style of the restaurant.
  5. Clean Eating: does anybody actually know what this is? There is officially no food or foods that are completely healthy for you without drawbacks, and yet there seems to be a fad that if you eat XYZ then you will be free of cancer, depression, broken limbs etc. Eating and drinking should be about enjoyment, not worrying. One particular “super food” is worthy of a point alone…(6)
  6. Avocados: everywhere. WHY?

Sorry to rant, but there we go. Here’s to a 2017 with behaving guests, who sit the way the tables is laid, who order individual dishes off the menu, eating on the basis of what looks tasty and interesting, and not what some arty-farty Instagrammer has announced is going to cure you of all diseases. And please, no more avocados.

And to finish, here is one of my favourite TV moments, from the king of Customer Service, Basil Fawlty, dealing with a typically odd but unfortunately common request. Enjoy.