table talk

Thursday 29th January 1998 00:00

Del boy suggests Trotter's retreat

Knoll House Hotel in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, has appealed to Table Talk for help in naming its soon-to-be-built restaurant.

General manager Simon Haggerty thinks that inspiration may be had from the Tamworth Two, the pair of pigs that famously made a break for freedom from a local abattoir earlier this month. Suggestions so far include the Sundance Restaurant and the Butch Brasserie, but Haggerty is not convinced.

Names that spring to my mind include Porkers, the Flying Pig or Streaky Bacon. Anyone got any suggestions?

Good or bad, what's the deference?

Readers who despair at the demise of good restaurant etiquette will be heartened to hear of a Swiss woman who claims to run Europe's only school for table manners. Never mind training for chefs and waiters, she points out that plenty of customers could do with going back to school.

Lucia Bleuler admits that her interest in perfect etiquette started early - she was given a book on manners for her 14th birthday.

The manual in question was published 200 years ago, in German, but Lucia assures me that the manners she teaches are bang up to date. "Customers should be as deferential as the waiters and waitresses and as highly trained as the chef," she says.

He was legless before he started

The resident cat at Scoretulloch House Hotel in Ayrshire has lived up to his name - sort of.

Gin (yes, his fellow feline companion is called Tonic) showed he really did have a taste for alcohol, drinking half a glass of beer that had been left on the bar one evening. As Gin has only three legs, balance was not a strong point to start with, and the alcohol went to his head.

I am told he was in a foul mood the next day, when his owners could only assume he had a stinking hangover.

And the seating wasn't a problem

In these days of growing conference facility demand, a hotel has to sell any available space. But wasn't Harrogate's Majestic Hotel pushing flexibility a shade too far when it hosted a conference in the gents' toilets?

The request came from supermarket chain Asda, seeking somewhere appropriate to hold a conference on cleaning products.

Still, I don't suppose they left much mess behind.

Must be on the floor of the Milky Bar

The curtain is set to go up on Teatro, a London restaurant owned by ex-footballer Lee Chapman and his actress wife Leslie Ash.

With staff uniforms designed by fashion house Red or Dead and the involvement of Aubergine chef Gordon Ramsay, the opening is sure to be high-profile.

But if its publicity material is anything to go by, the restaurant could have a problem on its hands as soon as it opens. A "media alert" talks of the "rich, earth tones of the oak flooring, sycamore panelling and chocolate carpet".

Chocolate carpet? Let's hope it doesn't melt.

Maybe he just hates Coronation Street

What's in a name? A lot, some might say.

The company that owns the Pembridge Palace Hotel in London's Bayswater, a DSS hostel, was fined more than £26,000 last week for contravening its fire certificate. Hotel manager Yousef Malik believes that the severity of the fine may have had something to do with the company name, Granada London-UK Ltd.

"In the dock, the magistrate thought we were Granada plc," said Malik. "We said we were not, but I don't think he was convinced."


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