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A la Colthard; what do you do if…

You have a disappointing meal and the owner asks you how was it?

I answered evasively but my girlfriend/diner was more forthright, complaining that the lamb was tough and gristly, potatoes soggy and she did not like it at all.

She might have added that the various entree dips were far too vinegary and salty. I admired her frankness.

I probably would have kept quiet and written a castigating review.

The owner deducted the lamb from the bill and gave us complimentary liqueurs. That is why I have not named and shamed. The restaurant was in Brighton and restaurants find it hard to survive  here.

There is little business between Sunday and Thursday and – with the awful weather and corona virus – visitors have been scarce on the weekend.

My fear is that the restaurant – an independent – will close and word will get out, leaving the market to chains. It is part of Brighton’s quirky charm that the individual can flourish.

I am also mindful of what happened to my colleague Fiona Duncan who writes for the Telegraph.

She was given a guided tour of the kitchens only to see a dart board with her face with fangs and horns on it!!!

At the smart Chewton Glen the porter insisted on talking her bag to her room which fell open to reveal 12 tampons!!! All in the life of a restaurant critic.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts