You would expect somebody who is going to moan about bread boards to comment that it may fill you up too much before your starter or main course but my perspective on this is different!
I have been to many restaurants and I love a good bread board. My frustration with some (not all) restaurants is that you don’t get enough bread, and god forbid you get a tiny dish of Olive oil with Balsamic vinegar in the middle! What is with those tiny dishes? I need, I want! The whole damn bottle please!
When a bread board is a good bread board it works well, it’s a delight to see the waitress bring over a bucket of bread white, brown, granary even rolls! Maybe a jug of Balsamic vinegar? Even better when it’s already on your table in preparation for the gorge of a week’s supply of bread. To be provided a kilo of bread for a table for two is my idea of a satisfying aperitif! God I love bread! Unfortunately I am one of these folk that see bread as bad so I don’t have it at home or eat it daily; my restaurant bread board is my carbohydrate fuelled treat, and hence my somewhat addiction to a mean bread board.
I recently visited a lovely restaurant and to be honest I cannot criticise the food, atmosphere and service it was top notch. But the bread board…
For a table of 4 we were provided with a plate, yes a plate of 4 slices of white and brown crusty bread. The slices were small I was able to fold it over and eat it in one hit, there was no oil provided just a tiny slither of butter – yuck. It actually came to the point that I tried to keep people talking while I slyly took the remaining extra 3 slices, (I think others noticed but didn’t think to question) then politely and quietly I caught the waitress’s attention and asked for more. She looked puzzled as it was clear nobody else had eaten anything just me. The 2nd helping arrived and I had to force myself not to make eye contact with it. Those carb filled delights kept shouting at me “eat me; I am so fresh and crunchy”. Luckily for me bread came with my starter too, so I was out of the woods by then.
But is it right that bread addicts need to go through the torment of sharing bread, or fear being judged by ordering a bread board for oneself (I did this once and was served a mini bread board, there were tears). Can’t we live in a world where a bread board is constantly restocked throughout a meal? Or shall I just bring a loaf of with me in the future?
So I love shopping and the concept of a discount or money saving is always welcome. My only issue is nearly every shop now comes with a points card, which in concept a great idea to bring your custom back but I think this has become slightly out of hand.
My purse for example is bigger than my handbag, I counted today how many points/loyalty cards I have. I have 10! Statistically talking this takes 80% of my purse. When do I visit these shops? About twice a month if that!
So there is me staggering to the shops under the sheer weight of my purse, full of pennies and plastic of course! You then get to the till and the cashier asks “do you have one of our loyalty/points/ you’re a great customer/ super duper saver card?”. Warning cashiers you need to give me 30 seconds to realise I do, only then leading me to delving through the pit of my purse to find the right card which would take a good 5 minutes minimum. All that for 2 points which equate to about 0.05pence! There have been times I have given them the wrong card “sorry mam that’s not your super duper saver card that’s your loyalty point system card”. Face palm moment!!
The consumer struggle to gain enough points to make it worth it takes potentially years, when finally the day comes you have £5 from the £6,000 you spent overall trying to get it, the sense of achievement when you purchase your “free” sandwich or bottle of bleach is beyond amazing! Is it really worth it?
Then come the vouchers! There was a day and age when you received post that had meaning like a birthday card somebody has sent to you 3 months before your actual birthday, with the joy of finding a ten pound note in it (thanks Gran). Weekly, Monthly letters now come through “Hi you are valued customers so here is a 100 point bonus voucher if you buy this tin of cat food”. This would help if you had a cat, if anything it embeds that inner struggle and constant wondering “I wonder when I can get my next free sandwich”.
This concept is beyond me, I downloaded the app once had it for a day and got bored pretty sure I still have an account on there but I wouldn’t know squat about getting access to it.
If anything I have learnt from this Instagram/#selfie nation is that you should always take photos from above as far above as possible (in my case google earth distance). That way your face looks thinner and with that pout your lips look plumper, plus you look really “cool”. Take a photo face on and you look like a moose.
Once you have the process of making a relatively good photo of your face (because everybody wants to see that) you must then decide what filter you want. Please note if you don’t use a filter you must announce it #nofilter just so the world know if you are looking up and pouting you look good.
Filters come in all kind of styles you can choose to make yourself look mega huge and your teeth like daggers but strangely most people don’t go for these. The popular filter seems to be this one whereby you have flowers in your hair and your eyes are made ten times bigger.
Once you have your chosen filter you must then decide where you want your photo taken so you can show the world what you do. From what I have seen the gym seems to be a popular location it doesn’t matter if you go once a year with the flowers in your hair, big eyes and from above you can look proper good in the gym, even if you have completed 5 minutes on the cross trainer. Don’t forget the hashtags #gymtime #fitness #proteinshake!
Another popular attraction seems to be the ladies toilets of a club or bar although this is a whole new arena. Selfie groups emerge from this location like hyenas to a fresh carcase. It seems everybody is celebrating what you have just produced #number2, I think it is suppose to show how much of a “good time” you are having. From my perspective it portrays an evening of diarrhoea, constipation or if you are still suffering from that bacon sandwich you had that morning. Why else would you spend that amount of time in the toilets?
The hatred for the word festive links into the sheer lack of enjoyment during Work Christmas do’s.
Its August, a meeting at work and the dreaded suggestion is announced we must book the venue for our Christmas do, everybody sits there waiting for that one person who has a hint of willingness/insanity to volunteer to arrange it. Little do they know this will take weeks out of their life to arrange.
Its August, an email comes round please can you confirm by C.O.B Friday if you are free on the following three dates 2nd December, 4th December or 16th December. Did I mention it’s august!
After this the whole Christmas do thing pipes down until you bump into that poor colleague who is arranging it, they mention we need a £400 deposit everybody needs to send money to them now or its not happening, It’s so stressful, If somebody doesn’t pay they are not coming, the venue has limited capacity etc.
Nothing more is heard of this and you start to ponder where did my £20 deposit go? Did they run off with the money?
October arrives and you bump into that colleague by now they are fully grey and chain smoking outside the building. You don’t know whether to mention the dreaded Christmas do, but you go ahead and ask. As you are half way through your question you see the sheer lack of enthusiasm in their eyes, like their soul has been drained out of their pupils and they no longer care for the world. To which they mutter quietly yes an email is coming out asking for you to choose your food. It’s October.
I’ll fast track now to December as this 4 month stint has lead the organiser to complete demise, you are sitting in an overcrowded restaurant, sweating and have ended up with the colleagues you don’t really know here comes the small talk. A strained looking waitress comes over and shouts “who ordered turkey” to which everybody looks blankly, we made our choices in October.
Nobody ends up with the right food and it is not always the best quality when cooked in bulk. Everybody pulls a cracker which is so cheap the whole thing collapses in your hand and a small plastic frog flies across the room, you are made to wear a paper hat that doesn’t fit your head, need I mention the jokes…
You finish your meal quickly as you overhear the waitress saying we are coming up to our time limit on our table and then we are set free into the bar area which is already full. You get separated from your work colleagues and feel forever trapped in the mosh pit of drunken mayhem. Once you locate your colleagues nobody is open to going to the bar as by this time it’s about 50 people deep. We all make our excuses and abruptly leave. The organiser is never seen again.
A personal annoyance of mine, in December everybody must feel “festive” plus everything you do comes with the word “festive” E.G Festive Drinks, Festive food, Festive get together, Festive dog.
So no matter what you are doing you must be “Festive”, if your car broke down and your boyfriend left you it doesn’t matter it’s the “festive” season we must be Jolly, cheerful and high-spirited.
What defines a festive drink? This normally consists of friends meeting up in London during December for Festive Drinks. This probably doesn’t sound too bad but when you head to a pub in central London or any city in December you will encounter some festive problems.
Ladies and Gentleman I introduce the drunken office lunch, those who left the office at midday probably had an overpriced festive sandwich and by 5pm had about 8 festive beers. These folk will be jolly until about 7pm when the drinking binge kicks in leading to a variety of outcomes such as projectile vomiting, talking complete rubbish to strangers (I attract these people), arguments on the phone to there partners saying they are already on the train, festive fights, festive tears and festive falls.
The pubs are full, I like a good sit down and a nice beer but in December this is not achievable even on a Wednesday night you will see yourself stuck in a swarm of festive cheer. Yes somebody will put a paper hat on you and make you try a festive drink such a mulled wine which is absolutely vile.
Festive food put it this way if you are looking to go for a normal meal, this is impossible because all restaurants and pubs have their festive menu. There is only so much turkey one can eat, mix that with the mulled wine and you’ll be begging for that Bacon Sandwich in the morning.
The word festive should be banned and people should just use the word Christmas. When asked are you in the Christmas spirit? If it’s anytime before the 24th December the answer would be no, leading to the ability of having a nice drink with your friends a few weeks before without the anarchy.
If you work in an office environment you will totally understand my qualm. I’ll paint a little picture.
It’s a warm Thursday evening by the Thames at a local watering hole having a couple of pints with some work colleagues. It’s a relaxed evening and you return home about 10pm. Your alarm goes at 6am and up you are ready to finish the week in style but you already feel the effects of those pints.
Sitting on a hot (normally delayed) train, you feel the beer sweats kicking in. It doesn’t help that you probably ran to the station in a mad frenzy as your ever so slight hangover has slowed you down.
Finally arrive to work maybe slightly later than usual but still before 9am to find that somebody had volunteered to go on a breakfast run. It’s normally the same person who would do anything not to work and find an excuse to leave the office for a while, likely to be a smoker and is always disgustingly upbeat.
Now your initial thought is this will be great, greasy food is just what you need when you are feeling a bit sensitive, the idea of how much this will lift your spirits kicks in, and you can sense the excitement in the air! You bypass all your loyalty cards in your wallet and locate those vital pennies towards your £1.99 bacon sandwich. You find that some people go large and get Bacon and Egg or Sausage and Bacon – the dare devils. Plus that dilemma Ketchup or Brown Sauce? Choose the wrong one and in your mind this is a game changer.
An hour later your colleague arrives, you knew this because you could smell the fragrant scent of the grease and a recently lit cigarette as they entered the building, you are on the 4th floor. By this point your stomach has serious issues from the alcohol consumption and I guarantee nobody has got coffee yet. You are desperate for some food.
After 15 minutes of trying to work out whose sandwich is whose you end up with a moderately cold sandwich, the grease has leaked through the paper and is now all over your desk and hands. The sandwich is eaten within 30 seconds leaving you feeling uncomfortably full and dying for a drink. At this point you clock that one person who eats half their sandwich and keeps the other half for later, some people have serious issues.
3 hours later, nobody has done a coffee round yet and you can still smell that lingering bacon fat stench along with the grease that no matter what you do is now a permanent feature to your desk for the next 2 weeks. You have been to the toilet about 6 times as it just keeps coming, you are not hungry for lunch which means dinner is delayed. That Joe Wicks diet has gone out the window, and all that for 2 pints on a Thursday evening.