Christmas meals should be moved to January

I have to confess to being maxed out on Christmas meals. With only a couple of exceptions I do wonder why we tolerate the meals trotted out at Christmas.

My daughter and I at the Michelin starred 'Spotted Pig' in New York - now thats what I call chips!

Last week I had the treat of a ‘meal’ at the Bowling Alley – which was principally deep fried. Deep fried everything – pizza, breaded brie, sausages, chips, mince pies – you get the picture. But in fairness they don’t hold themselves out to be a michelin starred restaurant.

Whereas on Friday I ate at Haus in Derby. I had a diet starter – two slivers of melon and an ounce of parma ham. The main course was mostly warm. Not that there was much of it – weight watchers would have been proud. Desert was traditional Christmas pud. My favourite – but not the barbecued variety. Quite how you can burn pudding is beyond me – it must have taken a lot of effort. They did replace it, but I had lost the will by that stage – and opted for cheese – with a hint of bread. (restaurants please note: please provide extra biscuits / bread for cheeseboards – eating chunks of cheese lacks decorum). I was lucky though – some puddings followed 10 minutes late – and steaks were ‘close’ in terms of cooking – ‘medium well’ was ‘medium rare’…

I have eaten at Haus before and it has been good!

Twice last week I ate at Vienna in Nottingham – the first night was a buffet – three pieces of bread and pate. The next night we had a Christmas meal. The meal was passable – but the place could have been used to train astronauts – it had so little atmosphere.

So why do we put up with it? Meals are over-priced and over-rated at Christmas. Most of these places can’t cope with big numbers of people. To add to the misery the staff seem to be temporary over Christmas? I can’t remember having to pass the plates down the table! And having take-away pizza after the meal defeats the objective…

In July we went to Paris. It’s expensive, but we didn’t have a bad meal. The waiters are exceptional. It is considered a profession there. The ability to remember orders without making notes was quite impressive!

And so, assuming we don’t all go to France to eat – I suggest we defer Christmas to at least January when we might get a reasonable meal at a reasonable price.

And the best meal I have had? Well a toss up between a private dinner where a team from The Olive Branch did the catering and Roast in Borough Market in London. Both first rate!