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Steve Plotnicki

Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road

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It's philosopher talk. Don't, whatever you do, mention hermeneutics.

Three fifty knickers? Gauch knoves? Doesn't sound like philosophical talk to me. Sounds like English drivel....

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Lewis Carroll was famous for his English drivel. Used to bottle the stuff and get thruppence for it.

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you do, mention hermeneutics.

Three fifty knickers? Gauch knoves? Doesn't sound like philosophical talk to me. Sounds like English drivel....

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Do you like venison Martin :wink:

Actually a very enjoyable write up given extra emphasis as Sam and I (with some pals) are booked for dinner on the 28th for Sam's 30th :shock: and our second wedding anniversary :wub:

I also believe £65 is pretty good compared to other 3 stars throughout Europe.

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Thank you for your help, Macro. I'll get some therapy for spelling "nicker" that way :blush; And we'll help you with some remedial tuition for meaning to write "gauchely designed knoves[sic, apparently]".

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That's the trouble with writing, rather than talking, Wilfrid. Now if I'd said "gauche knoves" in the course of conversation, you would immediately have understood that I meant "gauchely designed knoves" n'est ce pas ? And thank you for the offer of remedial tuition :smile:

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Macrosan - Le Gavroche and GR? You obviously believe in living frugally this week. I would be interested to know whether your GR visit, which I am presuming to be on a higher gastronomic level than Le Gavroche, has influenced your previous assessment of Le Gavroche.

v

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Macrosan,

Great report and the meal, once you were there, sounded worthwhile. But (you knew that was coming) your whole experience of booking , credit card details being taken and there being a turnaround time; just puts me off even entertaining the idea of ever booking there.

I know the point has been made before, but if one is paying hundreds of pounds for a meal, I am dammed if I am going to be rushed out, just so they can turn a tidy profit.

Why don't venues like the Waterside Inn, Manoir or Hibiscus feel the need to do the same, I wonder? Is it because they treat their guests with a modicom of respect?

Going for a lie down now, as I appear to have my fractious head on today.


Edited by Bapi (log)

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I know the point has been made before, but if one is paying hundreds of pounds for a meal, I am dammed if I am going to be rushed out, just so they can turn a tidy profit.

I think you misunderstood, Bapi. The arrival time they offered me was not so they could turn the table. (In fact we stayed on till after 3pm and had a hell of a job getting them to give us the bill!). What they told me on the phone was that they want to stagger diners' arrival times so they can stagger the order-taking, cooking and serving process. That seems a sensible idea to me, because it raises the quality of the experience for me, and takes some of the pressure off the staff.

Macrosan - Le Gavroche and GR? You obviously believe in living frugally this week. I would be interested to know whether your GR visit, which I am presuming to be on a higher gastronomic level than Le Gavroche, has influenced your previous assessment of Le Gavroche

Well of course I paid for my meal at Le Gavroche whereas the taxman paid for 40% of the meal at RHR :laugh:

You're right that the meal at RHR was on a higher level. The service was hugely better, the food just better. It's interesting that the gap in the food served on the plate wasn't vast. It was more in the subtle elements than anything substantial. For example, the Bresse Pigeon I had at Gavroche was as good quality a piece of cooked meat as the venison at Ramsay, but the creamy Savoy cabbage at Gavroche wasn't quite right, and the other "trimmings" were pretty innocuous. By contrast, the cabbage at Ramsay was spot on, and the gnocchi were unusual and excellent. The fruit dessert at Ramsay was again innovative and superbly executed, whereas the souffle at Gavroche was weak.

Comparing the two meals, I have to say that Ramsay was clearly better value overall, even allowing for the additional (and rather large) digestifs we had at Gavroche :rolleyes: That is assuming that the carte prices at Ramsay are the same in the evening as at lunch. I would still go back to Gavroche for a more informal "evening out" experience, but on a purely culinary basis I would now choose Ramsay every time.

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What they told me on the phone was that they want to stagger diners' arrival times so they can stagger the order-taking, cooking and serving process.

Hmmm.... there is something about this I find hard to buy. It would be OK if it worked and everybody turned up exactly at their allotted time. But it doesn't happen that way,does it. People are early or late for all sorts of reasons all the time. What do they do,refuse to serve early comers and serve latecomers first because their allotted time was earlier? Or are latecomers punished by being made to wait while earlycomers are served first despite having a later booking?

Besides you weren't allowed to eat when you wanted to eat-at 1.15pm. Why not? Were they fully booked for that time?

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I thought most restaurants had this sort of staggered booking. Loads of places have asked if we would come at 8.15 instead of 8pm, doesn't bother me in the slightest. Having two sittings on the other hand makes my blood boil.

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What they told me on the phone was that they want to stagger diners' arrival times so they can stagger the order-taking, cooking and serving process.

Hmmm.... there is something about this I find hard to buy. It would be OK if it worked and everybody turned up exactly at their allotted time. But it doesn't happen that way,does it. People are early or late for all sorts of reasons all the time. What do they do,refuse to serve early comers and serve latecomers first because their allotted time was earlier? Or are latecomers punished by being made to wait while earlycomers are served first despite having a later booking?

Besides you weren't allowed to eat when you wanted to eat-at 1.15pm. Why not? Were they fully booked for that time?

Well on the phone, as I reported, the receptionist had to check (presumably with the manager) whether a later arrival would be OK. She ended up saying they would "make allowances for us being a bit late" which was somewhat vague :wacko: As it happens, I then checked with my guest who said he could indeed make it earlier, so it turned out to be not a problem. The clear impression I was given on the phone, Tony, was that if we turned up after 1pm we might indeed not get our table. My best guess is that if you turn up too early or too late at Ramsay, you won't get your table. Personally, I have no particular wish to test my own theory :laugh:

When we arrived just after 12.30, we were the second or third table in the restaurant. There was clearly a regular stream of arrivals after that, and although I wasn't actually clock-watching, I would guess that by 1.15 there must have been six to eight tables occupied. Two tables were occupied after 2.30, and the restaurant was indeed full at that time.

Incidentally, I had tried to book at Locanda Locatelli. They offered me a table for 12.30 or 2pm, from which I deduced they were turning tables. They were absolutely unwilling to budge, so I didn't book there.

I have absolutely no problem with Ramsay's apparent policy. It makes sense to me, and I really don't find it hard to work to. It seems no different to me if they're refusing a table for a particular time because that is how they think they can produce their best results, or because they're full. The only difference is how they define "fully booked". Just suppose they have some key staff on holiday in a particular week. Should they "close down" a couple of tables and refuse to book them, or should they fill up all their tables and give everyone degraded service ?

Naturally, I am making assumptions about why they do what they do. Having experienced the supremely high quality service I received there, I am willing to believe they are making policy for the right reasons, and not just to be bloody-minded.

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What happened to "What time would you like your table sir?"

Amen to that.

I'm totally in agreement with Charlene and Tony on this topic. Two sittings is indeed, the work of the Devil.

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what happens if everyone/the majority want their table at 8pm? would you rather be able to state the exact time you come (does 15min either way really matter?) and then have to wait for ages whilst the waiters and kitchen deal with everyone at once or arrive at 8.15 instead (think about it Tony, 15 extra minutes in the pub) and have a more relaxed, even paced meal?

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Staggered tables are not the same as resitting tables!!!!

We stagger peoples arrivals so that everyone has a better time (including us!)

Now some people who want 8.00pm, but are only offered 7.30 or 8.30 will say yes, we will take the 7.30pm, and then appear at 8.00pm.Guess which tables have to wait a bit longer to be served?? :wink:

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what's the fuss? :wacko: 2 sittings is the work of the devil as correctly ascribed by other members.

staggering is what EVERY decent restaurant on planet earth does.

Forget the seating, do you think the kitchen can knock out 40 covers simultaneously????

you are allotted seating time, service, and kitchen time. Some make this more formulaic than others, and GR thinks it's a PR winner (maybe it is). But perhaps another way of looking at it is, 'what if they didn't stagger'?

- those experiences you post about on here: how your mains took an hour, & no one took your order.

Your mains didn't take an hour, you feel out of the queue...


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Well if a restaurant says they'd prefer it if we came at 8.15 instead of 8 then that is reasonable. However Macrosan said he wanted a table at 1.15 and was told it would have to be 12.30pm. He was then told that they would "make allowances" if he was a little late.

Not the same thing at all. Apart from a 45 minute differential he wasn't being asked if he minded coming earlier. Basically he was being told you come at 12.30 or not at all. And if you're late beyond the time we will "make allowances" for then you needn't bother turning up (at least that was the implication as I read it).

Maybe none of it all matters if you're going to have a fantastic meal but I just get irked at the idea that a restaurant can get into a mindset whereby it feels its doing you a favour by allowing you to dine there.

Normally I would steer clear but poor old :wink: Sam needs a couple of old codgers to accompany her to GR on the 28th to make her feel less bad about hitting 30,and Fahro and I drew the short straw( well someone's got to do it) However as far as I know (Scott?) our table is for 8.30 with no limit, so that's something.


Edited by Tonyfinch (log)

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Assuming we agree that staggering tables is acceptable (which I think it is), then I believe Macrosan said that he booked the table at GR the day before, so it does not seem unreasonable for there to be no tables left at 1.15 or thereabouts.

The later I book somewhere the more I accept that I will have to be more flexible about times.

I am more interested in the credit card and we will charge you about £200 if you do not turn up line. (Leaving aside such issues as to whether imposing any such charge is legal) my understanding is that the restaurant would only be able to charge for the profit it had lost, not the total cost of the meal.

Paul

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I am more interested in the credit card and we will charge you about £200 if you do not turn up line.

LOL I'd almost forgotten about that while Tony was busy being Finchy :laugh:

The most amazing thing was what her words were something very close to "You have until 2pm today to cancel ..." noting that I was talking to her at about 1.15) "... and then we will probably charge about £200 if you cancel after that". Now I am speaking from memory (which at my time of life I should really try to avoid) but that was certainly the gist of it. The "probaby" and the "about" were certainly said, and I just find that terribly gauche --- a bit like the design of the knoves :biggrin: After all, they clearly have a policy on cancellations, and I think that's reasonable in principle. If I book a restaurant and don't turn up, they're entitled to charge me. I feel exactly the same about airline tickets, by the way. But as I said in my original post, they need to present this clearly and unequivocally and reasonably on the phone when booking, and those adjectives cannot incorporate words like "probably" and "about".

I agree with Paul that in principle a charge of £100 per person might be viewed as unreasonable, and if so would doubtless be overturned if one took the trouble to complain. But again, that needs to be clarified by Ramsay when formulating the policy, and then explained. It shouldn't be necessary for a customer to enter into negotiation.

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