I was busy that morning, so I couldn’t talk too long when she called.
There was a new menu item that no one had even SEEN before, let alone ever tasted, so I really need to get it prepared immediately. After that, served to all the staff and managers and make sure they knew exactly what it was they were trying to sell!
I remember one waitress telling a customer that Eton Mess was “just like strawberries, cream and meringues that had fallen on the floor and you’d scooped them back up onto the plate before anyone saw you”. No, actually that was a real story, not something I’d heard from a friend of a friend…
“So, what time are you free?” she asked. We arranged to meet at that little French place ‘Le Pul’ or something, it was called. They served cake and sandwiches – good coffee, too. Pretty central and not too far from my place. I didn’t really feel like going to a restaurant that evening, I was probably going to be preparing and eating new dishes most of the day so wouldn’t be hungry at all anyway.
I’d been there a couple of times. First of all, the visa place was right across the street so I’d waited here while they went through to make sure all my paperwork was in order. One time I had spent the morning in the museum and was starving and found a tasty sandwich that was made well.
I said I’d try to be there about seven. I managed to get most of my sauces and preparation out of the way straight after the lunchtime rush and was happy with everything being ready for another menu tasting the next day.
But the taxi driver took me to the other end of the city before he’d realised his mistake. We turned round and rushed back to the centre, the traffic was pretty bad and getting worse. I tried to tell the driver that I remembered it was by the museum. As we sat in the car that evening, stuck in traffic, all he could do was shrug and let out a sigh…
When I finally arrived, the place was ‘closed for winter’