Wednesday 7 September 2016

Complaint and contentment

We've eaten occasionally at the Ash Tree between Rugeley and Armitage. The food has generally been perfectly fine and, with their permanent 2-for-1 deal on all main courses, extremely good value. Last night's was the exception and was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I find it frustrating when food I am paying someone else to prepare isn't half as good as what I could do in my own (or Erin Mae's) kitchen. So when the waitress came to clear the plates and asked, rather perfunctorily, if everything had been OK, I asked her if she was willing to hear an honest critique. She looked a bit startled but agreed. I told her what had been good and what had been, shall we say, less good. She said she would tell her manager, and I thought that would be that. But she came back with (a) an apology, (b) £5 off the bill, (c) free puddings! And the offer that if I didn't think that was sufficient compensation, the manager was very open to a conversation about it. All in all, we shan't be put off patronising the Ash Tree again.

Today we came, via a stop for shopping in Rugeley, to moor up between Colwich and Great Haywood locks. It's a popular spot, with an excellent view across the Shugborough grounds.

All very pastoral and idyllic. A boater enjoying the scene as he relaxed in a folding chair let out a long sigh as we approached along the towpath. My best beloved commented on the size of the sigh. "A sigh of contentment" he said.

Back at Erin Mae, my best beloved spotted something to harvest, and set about doing so. Meanwhile another pair of boaters behind us were busy preparing something tasty on a barbecue.

Overall, everybody seems very content.


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