To get a meal at a pub/restaurant on a Sunday?
Last weekend Michael and I went out for tea as we often do on Sundays – I picked him up from work just after 5pm and we went to a pub/restaurant and carvery twenty minutes drive from home, a place we’d never been to before but which was recommended by someone who works where I clean in the evenings. When we got there we found that the large car park was very full and I remarked to Michael that it seemed to be a very popular place – and we found out exactly how popular it was when we got in there. The place was absolutely heaving and we were told it would be a 45 minute wait for a table – we were okay with that, we could sit and have a drink while we were waiting but as we went to the bar we realised that there was nowhere to sit once we’d got one. Every single table was set or reserved for dining and those who were just drinking were all standing – and the queue for the carvery was so long it would probably have taken another 45 minutes to get our meals once we’d got a table, so we decided to give up and go somewhere else.
One place we’d been to several times was a twenty minute drive back in the vague direction of home so as it had been a while since our last visit we decided to go there – and I should have known something was wrong when we got there and found only four cars in the car park. The place was very quiet although there were some people dining, so we found a table (we had lots to choose from) and decided what we would have – a mixed grill for Michael and for me, something I wouldn’t normally eat, an all-day breakfast. So Michael went to order but was back a minute later to say that the guy behind the bar had told him the grill had been turned off so we needed to choose an alternative – okay, we could live with that (just) so Michael opted for the half roast chicken, I decided on the fish, chips and mushy peas, and Michael went back to order. Ten minutes later, while we were sitting having our drinks, the guy from behind the bar came and told us that the kitchen was now closed for a major clean and we couldn’t have a cooked meal at all but they may be able to do us some sandwiches so would we like to look at the menu? At which point I told him not to insult my intelligence as we’d already looked at the menu (twice!) so as we couldn’t have what we’d ordered we were leaving – and even then it took another ten minutes to sort out a refund for the meals we couldn’t have.
By that time I was so hungry I could have eaten the hind legs off a donkey so I suggested going to the one place where we could be sure of getting a good meal – our regular haunt, the Black Dog at Belmont – but as we were on the way there we passed a place Michael had been to in previous times so we ended up there instead. We had no trouble getting a table or ordering the meals we’d chosen, and the service was excellent, but in comparison to the Black Dog the portion sizes were smaller and the prices were much dearer – it was good but no better than the Black Dog, and at nearly £40 for two main meals and two drinks I don’t think we’ll be going there again.
The one place we definitely won’t be going to again – at least not for a long long time – is the one where we couldn’t get a meal at all. Discussing the situation later we both said that just after 6pm on a Sunday was a strange time to close the kitchen for a major clean so I wondered if maybe they were getting ready for a hygiene inspection. It used to be a really good place to eat – dog friendly too – and was well known locally for its excellent fish-and-chip meals, but the online reviews over the last few months aren’t good. Many of them say the food is awful and the place in general is dirty and falling apart – it seems that it changed hands about twelve months ago and the new owners (some pub chain I’ve never heard of) don’t seem to be investing in the place or their staff – a shame really as it was a nice place once. So with not being able to sit down anywhere at the first place and not getting a meal at the second, followed by a more expensive meal at the third, I’d be quite happy to stick to the Black Dog every time from now on.
You send a text to the wrong person and you have a son with a daft sense of humour.
I usually start work at my morning job at 7.15 but for the last few weeks three of the guys have been going in at 6am to do some extra work, so I’ve been going in early too when I can as the earlier I start the earlier I can finish and get back home for breakfast. So just after midday today I sent Mick, one of the guys, a text – “Is anyone in early tomorrow?” I didn’t get a reply straight away so assumed he was busy and put it out of my mind, then three hours later, out of the blue, I got a text from Michael – “Yeah, there’s about a hundred of us” Of course I didn’t connect Michael’s text to me with the earlier one I’d sent to Mick so I wondered what on earth he was on about as it didn’t make any sense.
Another three hours later I’d managed to finish my evening job early for once so was in time to pick Michael up when he came out of his own work just after 6pm – and as he got in the van his first words were “What was that daft text you sent me earlier on?” So then it dawned on me – I’d sent my text to him instead of to Mick at work. No wonder Mick hadn’t replied! Of course when Michael got the text he wondered what I was playing at as he knew that I knew he would be starting work at 6am tomorrow – so for a bit of fun he’d sent a silly text back to me. While we were still in his works car park I re-sent the text to the person I should have sent it to in the first place and just a few minutes ago I got a reply.
We’ve both had a good laugh about the confusion – in fact I’m giggling now as I write this – but it’s now got me thinking. The bosses at both my evening jobs are called Michael so it’s a good job I didn’t mistakenly send the text to either of them or one of them would be thinking his cleaner has finally lost the plot!