Blog: Farewell, toff’s food

Catherine Sleep | 20 October 2004

At a grand wedding I attended on Saturday, there was further evidence that the days of serving toff’s food on festive occasions may be numbered. Hallelujah!

I’m at an age where a LOT of my friends are getting married – we were guests at five weddings last year (okay, one of them was our own) and three this year, and we already have invitations to two for next year. Wedding fare is not the most innovative. Bridal couples tend to be presented with a dull list of inoffensive classics from which they choose the option likely to upset the least people. How much smoked salmon can a body eat?

So at the wedding this weekend it was refreshing to be presented with bangers and mash as the main course. Not just any bangers, mind. They were from a renowned local butcher and grilled to perfection – no mean feat when catering for 100+ guests. Actually, the mash wasn’t conventional either, being made from sweet potatoes. But you get the gist.

Wedding hosts are desperate to make sure their guests feel comfortable and indulged but it doesn’t really matter what you feed them as long as it’s good. Which is pretty much how I feel when I go into any restaurant, particularly abroad when I don’t know my way around the menu. I want to say to waiters “What’s REALLY good today?” but it’s hard to trust a waiter you don’t know not just to recommend whatever it is that they’re trying to get rid of on that particular day.

Which is where having a favourite local gaff where all the staff know you is a truly beautiful thing. And I have two, lucky me!


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