Give me the Cutlery!
Dessert with only a spoon – OK you’re saving on dishwasher wages but do we have to push the food onto the spoon with our thumb?
Give me the cutlery!
Loud music – Yes, you’re a DJ manqué, you have impaired hearing due to the head-banger music you listened to as a youth, you have no conversation and imagine no-one else does either. Silence embarrasses you.
Whose taste is your music satisfying? (Mine's terrible - I range from Schubert Leider to Country.)
Background music is an insult to music.
(Mind you, if you were to play Willy Nelson or Merle Haggard, at a suitable volume, I’d be putty in your hands. But I guess I’d also be eating ribs and something called Jerk.)
Please, just turn it off!
Espresso martinis – I know people need, honour and crave coffee but this mixture is disgusting. It has no kick.
Mindless questions – “How’s your day been so far?” I'm asked as I sit down. I don’t know you well enough to tell you. Set up a brainstorm with your crew to see how you could engage more meaningfully.
Don’t ask me!
Long tables without ends – You see it in Vogue magazine and real estate articles – a long table with chairs on either side, no-one at the end. This looks cool, tidy, slick, minimalist, sharp, elegant. But what about conviviality? Sometimes you talk to your left, sometimes you talk to your right so to whom does the sad unfortunate at the end talk to? Really out on a limb!
A long table should have a sense of a circle, where the goodwill flows inwards, not out the end.
A long table of eleven should have 4 on one side, 5 on another and one on each end. May not look like Vogue magazine but conversation will be easier.
Fill the ends!
Napkins – we’ve lost the battle against the embarrassing late 20th century ritual of having waiters drape napkins across our laps. (More on that later.) But the new dilemma is why can’t I leave the table and not have my napkin fiddled with?
Debrett’s Modern Manners recommends placing your napkin on the seat of your chair if you need to leave the table. That’s good enough for me.
Why does someone come and intrude on my table and my friends with a flash flourish to rearrange my used napkin? Is it a way of saying “You’re a naughty girl and I’m tidying up after you”.
If you’re one of the party at the table, gently ask that the napkin be left on the seat. The time saved could be used to check our water, clear our plates, or get our bill ready. Save time for more important things.
Leave my napkin alone!
T-towels out the back pocket - I love the “hipster” look and the vibe of the places these waiters inhabit but can we lose the tea-towel hanging from the back pocket? I don’t know what you do behind the scenes, but wiping down tables with this much used tea-towel is not a good look.
Unless they have a Dolce & Gabana or an Hermès logo in view, they’re not a cute accessory.
Keep tea-towels out of sight.
Positive reinforcement – when I order, don’t tell me “Good choice”. I don’t need positive reinforcement for what I eat, (especially when I hear it said at every table).