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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Restaurant reviews and conversation.

Another weekend and another Sunday supplement to scan. I am always drawn to the restaurant critiques, not that I am ever going to be a customer. An SW1 postcode for most reviews, an elevated bill for two and living in the provinces all put a stop to that.

No, what tantalises my voyeuristic reading, is the statutory photograph of the centre of attraction for that week. Not a setting out of place, a regimented layout, not a customer to be seen and interior design that seems to sap the vibrancy out of a place. It is as if you are looking at a furniture shop out of hours.

However good the cuisine, the ambience must surely have an impact on the social interaction of customers as they tuck in. Not an issue until one realises that, as most of the reviews are of West End eateries, their clients will cover media, politics and business - positions of influence. One wonders what impact the atmosphere of a place has on the quality of communication that takes place across the tables. Does the ambience drain both the food and conversation?

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