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How to behave in Michelin starred restaurants?


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Not About Food

How to behave in Michelin starred restaurants?

sbdavis1 | | Feb 6, 2012 08:14 AM

Went to the Hand & Flowers in Marlow last Friday. Pretty good food all in all, and much more relaxed than your average Michelin 2 star.

Service was polite, though something happened after our mains. We were given the desert menu, my wife went to the bathroom saying she was absolutely stuffed and didn't want anything else, so my friend and I decided to order in her absence. As we hadn't sat down to eat until 9.30pm and had a long journey back home ahead, and as I'd been told the pear souffle took 15 minutes to prepare, I was conscious that we needed to get things moving a bit.

So I called the waitress over, ordered said pear souffle and a chocolate cake. As she took the menu, the waitress said "We don't usually take orders until everyone is sat at the table, sir, so I'm sorry for not coming over to you before". Given that I had not said anything to her at all, and as far as I'm aware didn't look irritated in the slightest, I took this as a criticism of my behaviour masquerading as an apology - passive aggression for dummies.

I'm by no means an expert, but I've eaten in a few Michelin star/fine dining places and have never come across this before. I'm not particularly cross - I'm just wondering if I did something wrong that I'm not aware of. On the one hand you could say it is good manners to wait for everyone to order; on the other that, as a paying customer and a grown adult, I'm quite capable of sorting out orders for a table of three without much difficulty.

So which is it: am I a boorish fool who shouldn't be let within 5 miles of a beef consomme or was the waitress just a little rude? And are there any other special rules that apply to places charging more than £50 a head for dinner?

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