Table Talk

by Ben Walker , Monday 29th March 2004 11:34

Haven't you got covens to go to?
Publicans are well used to ejecting drinkers for drunk and disorderly behaviour. But a nonplussed Sydney publican recently found himself having to bar a group of drinkers for casting spells in his boozer, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Tony Green, owner of Sydney's Greenwood Hotel, told the paper he had found the behaviour of Pagan Pages, a group of occultists that meets to discuss mythology and rituals, strange and threatening, adding that the group had been known to cast spells that cleared the bar of customers. "They talk about casting spells and they brought a small cauldron with them," Green said.

NY smokers are kings of the road

A New York restaurant is dodging the city's smoking ban by parking a stretch limousine outside for customers to use as a smoking lounge. Each night, dozens of diners at David Burke and Donatella's hop into the vehicle for a smoke. Chef-owner and non-smoker David Burke has paid £550 a week for the past six months just to keep his smoking customers happy. "You can't fight the law and I am not a campaigner. I was just concerned for the comfort of my customers and to me it was so simple," he said. "So, out front now, we have a beautiful white room, a smokery, which is a very elegant solution to a very sticky problem."

Everyone drives like that in France
Le Manoir's Raymond Blanc gave a remarkable display of hands-free driving on BBC2's So What Do You Do All Day? recently. Interviewer Adrian Chiles finally lost his nerve and had to ask him to keep at least one hand on the wheel. Blanc was at pains to prove that Le Manoir wasn't just for the elite, pointing out the cheaper cars among the Rollers and Bentleys in the car park, and demanding: "Look at me - I'm hardly an 'ooray Henri, am I?"

Or perhaps they'll chuck people in
Fast-food chain McDonald's might be trying to give people the choice of lighter menu options, but that hasn't stopped the company calling in the heavies. The group has had to employ doormen at its Twickenham outlet following problems with local teenagers. Two guards will now man the doors on Friday and Saturday nights to preserve the restaurant's "family atmosphere."


See the Amuse Bouche pages in Thursday's Caterer magazine for more titbits


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