The bigger the hype, the harder the fall.
When it came to dining, our break wasn’t all beer and skittles.
To our bitter disappointment, it wasn’t even bread.
Here’s what happened.
In researching accommodation, we found a white-hot Epicure review of a local eatery.
Fonnie noted that, while the writer had raved about the concept, the premises and the owner’s pedigree, there wasn’t very much about food.
This should’ve warned us.
What the review did mention was bread:
… the handsome new $28,000 Salva oven (shipped on a slow boat from Spain) …
… regulars are getting nicely familiar with the sourdough …
We love bread, so it was with light rye hearts that we rocked up at 5 pm on our first day.
No bread for you!
The eatery was closed, despite a sign advertising dinner.
Undaunted, we returned at 10 am.
The counter girl told us bluntly that we were too late for bread.
Golly! we thought, It must be incredible bread!
Next day, we came back at opening time.
It was too early for bread.
The girl didn’t offer this information.
Rather, we had to extract it, word by word, like denture-borne poppy seeds.
It went a little like this:
Hi! We’d like some of your youbeaut sourdough bread please!
There isn’t any.
Really? Why’s that?
You’re too early.
Is it not ready yet?
Ah. When do you think it will be ready?
We came yesterday at ten and it was all gone. Do you think it might be here by nine?
Ah. That’s a shame. Perhaps we’ll wait …
Malfunction in breakfast dispenser!
We scanned the empty dining room.
Are you … doing breakfast today?
The girl flopped a hand at a blackboard boasting sourdough with every dish.
Um, excuse me …
But she’d turned and was laughing with a local. Eventually, we got her back.
Would it be fair to say you won’t be doing breakfasts with sourdough bread until it arrives?
No sourdough today.
No … sourdough?!
Turkish bread today.
So, in the absence of sourdough, what can you do for breakfast?
Silently she indicated a row of one-serve Coco Pop boxes.
C … Coco Pops?
Fonnie and I agreed this was as far from the Epicure review as it was possible to get.
Something as good as The Deck-House doesn’t need reviews.
On the flip side, if something ain’t good, no review can save it.
I write for a living.
Yet the world’s finest words, when they don’t reflect reality, merely sharpen the disappointment of a bad retail experience.
I realise that:
- It’s only bread.
- It wasn’t high season.
- Some locals don’t dig townies.
But when the nation’s most respected broadsheet reports:
… we’ve gone from duelling banjos to the London Philharmonic …
you can perhaps forgive our high hopes.
My best theory for this yawning promise-delivery disconnect is that the owner sold the eatery, at the height of its hype, to his antithesis.
Do you have a better explanation for this cocolossal service fail?
I hunger for your words.