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Snobbery and robbery

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 11/07/19 18:00

dining

Last week was my 20th wedding anniversary (hard to believe).

I decided to book a celebration meal for the day of my anniversary at a relatively new “fine dining” restaurant in Nottingham.

At Alchemilla there is a chef who used to work at Sat Bains; who opened the restaurant 2 years ago, you can watch a video of his restaurant here, if you’re interested.

It looks completely amazing and Alison, really likes to go out somewhere, where she can’t get food that she can cook herself, so I thought it would be a really cool thing to do.

I booked the restaurant for the night of our anniversary at 7pm (always best to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with kid’s stuff, to try and be considerate).

Funny thing is, she booked the same restaurant, for the same time as a surprise for me!

That must be a good thing, surely?

Anyway, we cancelled one of the reservations and turned up for the second one, interested to see what would happen in somewhere which is very expensive and very exclusive.

First thing to note is that there were only 6 people in the restaurant on the Wednesday night out of 30 chairs.

That’s not brilliant and doesn’t feel like it’s a bustling, busy, popular place.

Second thing to note was, it did feel, to me at least, that the “B team” were on.

I suppose that’s not surprising, because it was a Wednesday night, but there’s no accommodation made for the cost, for the “B team”.

Without being unkind and trying to be as considerate as possible, the girl who looked after us to start with, just seemed to be recycling rehearsed jokes.

Someone had told her what to say, each time she brought something, and she did say it, but she had definitely “lost that love and feeling”. The guy who served us at the table, was actually really nice, but he was desperately afraid of making a mistake and that came across completely.

The girl who looked after the wine package, didn’t look old enough to drink.

The food was lovely, and different and the place was really cool, but there’s a little bit more to it than that.

I just didn’t believe the wine girl and didn’t believe she believed it.

I didn’t believe the girl who served us the food, who explained what it was supposed to do and what all the flavours was supposed to do.

In the end I can’t taste the difference anyway. I either like it or I don’t.

I don’t get hints of French oak and burnt cabbage or what ever it is supposed to be in the wine that I drink. I just know, I like it, or I don’t like it.

We had a lovely time; we had a lovely time together and we didn’t fall out.

But we had, had a picnic on the River Trent, for lunch that day, because it was our anniversary and that was certainly no worse a meal than the one, we had in the evening.

Maybe it’s because Alison and I are a bit simple and we don’t go for fancy stuff, but I can’t help thinking, that a lot of the fine dining stuff has become “the emperor’s new clothes”.

I’ve been to Sat Bains restaurant 3 times and each time, Sat has come over to the table and looked us in the face and asked us if everything was alright.

He’s taken responsibility for what goes on in his place and I’m sure he would fix something if he thought it wasn’t right.

I’m sure the Michelin stars people understand that, and that’s why he’s got 2.

Maybe Alchemilla is different on a Saturday, but it would probably be worth letting people know, if that was the case.

Blog Post Number - 2060

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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