I expect a complaint about food to be acknowledged

Here's a curious question. What is it that you expect people to do when you complain? I'm talking in particular about food and restaurants.

Wednesday, 28th December 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:01 pm
Oxford Street Christmas lights

If you’re buying a product, say, in a store, that you can feel and touch, it’s all well and good.

You know exactly what you’re getting and how much it’s going to cost you. If you need to complain about its non-function or similar, you have guarantees, receipts and the like.

But going to a restaurant, that’s another matter entirely. Yes, there’s reputation and previous experience to measure success with, but what if you’re trying somewhere for the first time?

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When it comes to eating out, I rely on a personally-honed scale of cost to quality. If, for example, I’m in a pub and choose to buy a pie to mop up the alcohol and it’s advertised as £1, I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be poor quality. It’d have to be, right?

Let’s say I choose a sandwich, anything up to a fiver. I expect it to fill a hole in my tummy and not be much more than a swift intake of calories.

If I want a little more and I want it to be fresh and tasty, that’s up to a tenner. And anything above that? I expect to be thrilled.

I’m still mulling over a sandwich situation which occurred pre-Christmas when the family and I took visiting relatives to enjoy the fine views of the harbour from Old Portsmouth and for a spot of lunch.

We ordered sandwiches and chips. The service was super slow, but pleasant, and I had to wait a significantly longer time than anyone else for my food to arrive.

When asked that bland ‘how is everything?’ I answered honestly.

The bread tasted stale, the margarine was thick and cheap and I felt the mustard should have been wholegrain.

The response was confusion, perhaps the first time the staff hadn’t received a bland answer.

And then nothing at all. It turns out I expect some kind of acknowledgement of a complaint.

In this day and age, surely all food outlets should have a level of vetting of ingredients (when they’re charging over £5) and training of staff?


As Christmas draws to a close I’ll admit that, to get my festive fix, I took the children on a day trip to London.

As much as the local lights are pretty and the buzz is there, there is nothing quite like the capital city at this time of year for bringing Yuletide joy.

Especially as, in the run-up, we were literally wandering around in t-shirts as it was so warm.

It’s quite hard to get that snowy feeling when you’re sweating in a light jumper, your carefully-selected scarf, hat and gloves just not required.

To put the twinkle into the balmy heat, we headed to London, the lights of Oxford Street and the winter wonder land at Hyde Park.

A fantastic day out, recommended to all.


For the past two or three years, my husband has been badgering me to go with him and choose new glasses frames.

This is not my favourite activity. In fact, as far as time spent together goes, choosing glasses frames is somewhere very much on the lower rungs of fun things to do in marriage, sitting somewhere close to cleaning out the attic and just above throwing out your university clothes which are several sizes too small for you.

Cunningly, I booked him an appointment at the exact same time that I was busy all day.

But now I’m paying the price as I nervously await his reappearance in new frames.

It’s at times like these you realise that your cunning might end up costing you dear.