Last week on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, a guest chef was asked about whether he’d be opening for New Year. He said that he had no problem with opening on New Year’s Eve, but never opens the following day.
His reason? “Nobody wants to work as they’re all so hungover… The staff will work Boxing Day with pleasure, but nobody wants to work New Year’s Day… Ever… And that’s why we stay closed… They’re all so pissed still that they wouldn’t be able to cook or wait.”
Yesterday, I had dinner at a restaurant in Chelsea. I won’t name it out of fairness and because the manageress was quite apologetic (and charged only for the drinks), but said previously mentioned guest chef’s advice should have been heeded.
Of very few places open, the dining spot my friend and I ended up in was two thirds full, but had very staff. It took the waiter, a most pleasant young man who was running around like a headless chicken (and having to deal with an utterly bonkers ageing couple who were moaning about garlic), an age to bring the menu and then when we’d ordered, someone else’s meal was eventually brought to us.
Nearly 45 minutes later, the right food appeared. My friend’s fish was fridge cold and though the Breton chicken I’d ordered was perfectly edible, I took one bit into a chip: It was still frozen.
Lesson learned: Never again will I visit a restaurant on New Year’s Day.