JP and I went to London this week to see a performance of Othello at the National Theatre. JP had managed to book seats in the middle of the front row of the circle on level 3 which I reckon were the best in house. Unfortunately I found it difficult to clearly hear everything that was said and I confess to drifting off a couple of times, as did my sister-in-law but that might have been due to the somewhat rushed lunch immediately before the performance. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this modern production but once it began I just got caught up in the story and it didn’t matter that the cast were wearing ‘normal’ clothes or army fatigues. Well worth a visit if you get the chance.
As to feeling ripped off… We went to the Oxo Tower Brasserie for dinner and although the food was good but not brilliant, it was certainly pricey. We might have made more allowance for the extortionate prices if: there had been more space between the tables, the tables weren’t just laminated plastic and no table cloth, JP’s chair seat hadn’t been ripped, and a gin and tonic hadn’t cost £8.85. Vast profits are being made by this restaurant on gin sales alone! I might have to pay £25 in a supermarket for a good quality gin but restaurants like Oxo pay well below that and even it they did pay £25 per bottle, charging £7.50 for a shot of gin with an average of 36 shots in a bottle means that they are making £245 profit on every bottle consumed. I dread to think of the profit margin on the food! I am often reminded by family that high prices are to be expected in London but it doesn’t mean that I have to just smile and offer up my wallet as I walk into a restaurant. What happened to value for money? Is that just an old-fashioned way of thinking these days? How are companies able to justify vast profits but continue to pay their staff minimum rates of pay? I doubt that the staff at the Oxo would see much if any of the 12.5% discretionary service charge that had been added to our bill and yes, I know that we could have refused to pay the charge, but we always tip good service anyway and could only hope that it was shared amongst the busy staff. Needless to say, we will not be going back there.
In a more light-hearted mood, here are some floral photos taken this very hot and sunny morning in my in-laws’ garden.