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Friday, 30 January 2009

The Place/Plaice to eat.

The venue today is a large store cafe-restuarant called The Place to Eat.

Today I called in at the John Lewis store in the Victoria Centre (Nottingham) around midday and got myself a cappuccino. It was pretty bustling with customers clashing mammoth green-striped John Lewis and Jaeger bags. Most of these customers were ladies who like to brunch and if the price of the fish, chips and peas is owt to go by the credit crunch hasn’t hit the LWLTB gang. We’ll come back to this in a second.

As I sat by the Patisserie (and I wrote that word in my journal so as not to get the spelling wrong) I felt almost shy of taking a photo and even of making notes. The diligent staff were everywhere, wiping tables, clearing tables and generally looking efficient in their black and green uniforms.

A Chinese family nearby dithered around undecided on what to eat and seemed to opt for the afore-mentioned fish, chips and peas. My profuse apologies I meant the beer battered fish, big fat chips and petit pois with half a lemon. £8.70 for goodness sake! And what is beer battered? Do they hit the poor fish with a bottle of stout?

This family of four sat and stared at one portion of this fish meal for a fair while and then hit a gong and span the prayer wheel. It’s either a Zen thing or maybe they were getting their monies worth. 'Pea for you, pea for me, pea for you...'

Then there were the young mums with young children practically playing dodgems with their four wheel drive versions of kids buggies and I witnessed a cute, excited little boy in his rugby style shirt and tweed trousers tugging on his dad’s arm. Judging from the bag the dad was carrying I think they had been to get the lads posh school uniform sorted out. “Ninety pounds for a school cap – that’s fine we’ll take a dozen, he’s a growing lad.”

One of the buggies has just brushed the table making it rock. The woman didn’t really notice me and pushed ahead with the cow bar on the front of the buggy in case of large mammal trouble in the haberdashery department.

Over in the corner a very small girl (about four or five) is swinging her tiny legs to and fro and sipping a drink with Nanny. She looks like a cartoon schoolgirl by Quinten Blake.

I have made my notes. The coffee wasn’t bad and whilst the clatter of plates and cups being stacked echoes around me I get my camera out and take a sneaky shot on the way out. I’m half expecting a hand on my shoulder, to be dragged into a side room and beer battered for espionage or only spending £2.75. Or maybe I’m just too wacky for my own good. Nanny! Where are you! Save me!

PS: Just for the record I never had a Nanny, right.

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