nlogkids

The Kids Are Alright

Children + restaurants = bad news. Everyone knows that. It’s a fact of life – you take the trouble to book a romantic table for two at a nice place down the road and odds on, you’ll be sharing it with a squabbling bunch of teenagers or a squawking baby. We’ve blogged before about the horrors of children in restaurants and even mused on possible solutions, but very few restaurants, apart from the chains, really take the fact of kids eating out on board. Until now…
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fish

Street Life

What’s your idea of street food? What do those two words mean to you? Are you thinking kebab with all the sides on a Friday night after the pub; a fish & chip supper (sadly no longer wrapped in newspaper); a takeaway burger from one of the well-known (or hopefully not) brands littering our high streets? Well move on, sister (and brother because here we truly are PC), because street food is hot, here and now. And you’re missing out.
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tebay

A Tale of Two Services

Consider the following: Tebay South, a motorway service station in Cumbria, has recently been awarded an unimprovable and unprecedented five star ranking from VisitEngland. The tourist board praised the family-run and -owned business for its excellent ethics, including local sourcing, own-made food, professional service and in general making the inevitable pitstop one of unconfined joy and delight for the driver.
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lemanoir

Who Do They Think They Are?

Tale number 1: Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin… A lady of our acquaintance thought it might be nice to treat five friends who had seen her through a difficult patch to a stay at Le Manoir aux’ Quat’Saisons. She decided upon afternoon tea, dinner and a night’s stay and duly phoned up to make the reservation, only to be told that it was impossible to book a single night’s stay over a weekend; it was only acceptable to book two nights, a package well beyond her already-generous budget. She rejoined with a decisive ‘Up yours, then’, based on the notion that if they didn’t want her business that badly, she didn’t particularly want to give it to them. The ladies went off to have a delightful experience somewhere a lot less costly and a lot more hospitable towards that budget.
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ritz_blog

Puttin’ On The Ritz

Afternoon tea: it’s a treat, isn’t it? A civilised delight enjoying a renaissance across the UK, with customers choosing to socialise over fairy-light cakes, morsels of savouries and a traditional cuppa, rather than over a boozy lunch or dinner. You would probably consider it one of the better value-for-money options when it comes to dining out. Well, according to the latest Which? survey, you’d be completely wrong. In fact, afternoon tea is looking like it might be one of the biggest rip-offs around.
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newdirectionsblog

New Directions

Does anyone else think the restaurant industry is, well, a bit last century? It seems we spent some time inventing the out-to-eat concept, some more time getting it right (or not – some places still struggle with the concept of food and service in the same sentence) and then we let it quietly moulder away as if there was simply nothing more to be done about it. And so the industry has become something of a lumbering behemoth: no-one seems quite able to innovate and maintain before being buried under a pile of press cuttings and selling out to a chain. Read full post

533712_21406500

The Foie Gras Debate

Are there many foodstuffs as contentious as foie gras? No matter who or where you are, you’ll probably have an opinion: it’s posh food, innit; it’s a horrific and cruel process; it’s delicious and I’d smear myself with it daily; it’s too expensive; it’s hard to get… And it seems opinions remain polarised worldwide. Come 1 July, California will see it banned throughout the state (although note Chicago did something similar a few years ago before changing its mind and New York thought long and hard about it) although other countries, particularly the French, natch, remain heartily in favour of its consumption. There is a high-profile, celebrity-rammed campaign in this country to see the sale of it banned and many restaurants feel forced off the fence and on to one side or the other, some even intimidated into banning it by threats of violence from campaigners. Read full post

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