I have to agree that food continues to disappoint. We did have two reasonable dinners at the Alfresco replacement of the Restaurant during lockdown, although there were amateurish moments such as food arriving cold. It was made up for by enthusiastic and friendly service and the sheer delight of eating out.
But the Club has closed this facility for the whole summer! Why on earth do this, when there would be nothing nicer than eating out on a summer evening?
We should take inspiration from the InterAllié in Paris where wonderful gastronomic dinners are served in the gardens throughout the summer. In fact F&B would do well to take a trip there to see how good club food can be – if you set high standards and don’t descend to the lowest common denominator, which is what we do here. The result is always a version of school food!
Leading on from that, I do fear that the West Wing and in particular the potentially wonderful Fitness Centre, will be lost, to be converted into ‘More Bad Food’ in the form of a family ‘Brasserie’.
The Fitness Centre would be a fabulous asset if it were updated and properly run: keenly priced and better promoted. To try to wedge the Fitness Centre into the tiny North Wing would be tragic.
Finally, the BBQ. Whilst very popular, because at the moment there is no choice, the food remains poor. Some of the ideas from the Focus Group which I championed, such as Borough Market type street food stalls, have been attempted, but the result is disappointing, for example last week: piri piri prawns served undercooked, exotic South African sausage basically a hot dog in a roll with tomato sauce.
As others have said, the Club has an opportunity to set the bar high. But since catering was taken in-house food has been deeply disappointing- the lowest common denominator at work. It was far better when we had Searcys. Please accept defeat and bring them back.