Apsleys – a case study

10 Jun

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.

Martin had been offered lunch at Apsleys in return for a favour he had sorted for a member of staff called Iago. Martin was given the number of the concierge who he called the next day to secure the booking. Although Martin would never have considered paying for a meal at Apsleys due to the extortionate prices, he has always been happy to accept a free meal, be it a Michelin starred lunch or a jacket potato.

On Sunday 20th March at approximately 1.30pm, Martin and his girlfriend Natasha entered the Lanesborough Hotel and walked towards the entrance of Apsleys in order to claim their free meal. They were greeted by the a lady on the door who asked for Martin’s name, however, she was unable to locate his booking. She assured them that it wouldn’t be a problem and asked them to follow her towards a vacant table. Concerned for his bank balance, Martin explained “It should be a complimentary meal.” This threw the lady somewhat and Martin had to show her Iago’s business card so that the slight misunderstanding could be cleared.

Unfortunately, Martin’s action did not take immediate effect as Iago had to be contacted. Meanwhile, Martin and Natasha were asked to sit on a sofa in the long hall of the Lanesborough Hotel. Approximately five minutes passed before Iago appeared. “Martin! How are you? I said I could sort you out with a table, I never said it would be free mate.” He said. Natasha whipped her head away in horror and Martin began to stammer. He apologised for the misunderstanding and Iago asked if he would consider paying for his meal, Martin declined. Iago went away to investigate another option where Natasha took the opportunity to say to Martin: “Why would we need him to sort us out with  a table? I could have booked one myself. And he didn’t even manage to do that.”

Iago returned to inform them that they would be entitled to free food but they would have to pay for the drink. They accepted, but realised only moments later that the most sensible thing to have done would have been to decline. They followed Iago to their table like they were walking towards their execution.

Menus were placed in front of them – they both decided to order from the cheap lunch menu to cause the least offence. Natasha also decided to order a token glass of wine so that some money would be spent, though she was dismayed to find that the cheapest glass was £10.

Unfortunately, Martin and Natasha have found it difficult to recall what they had to eat – their levels of embarrassment overrode every other sense that they posses. The only comment Natasha was able to make is that she certainly didn’t taste salt as everything was devoid of seasoning. Martin has vague recollections of the plates of food being attractive in appearance.

Plates were cleared and desserts were ordered. Having enjoyed the slight numbing effect of her glass of wine, Natasha decided to order another. This time she recruited the help of the sommelier to advise her and he suggested a particular sweet red wine. As she did not want to attract any attention to herself, she accepted the advice even though said wine was £20 a glass.

When the wine arrived, Natasha made the decision to enjoy herself considering she had just spent more on one glass of wine than she had ever spent on one bottle. Martin too was encouraged to take light of the situation and the couple found they were able to smile and laugh, feeling less self-conscious with every minute. They even found they could enjoy their chocolate dessert, delighting in the smooth texture and light flavour of the mousse coupled with a crispy praline base.

Despite having had their spirits lightened, Martin and Natasha were eager to leave. Natasha immediately relayed her experience to many of her friends over the phone to achieve reassurance. After these discussions and another lengthy one with Martin, they both came to the conclusion that Iago was a manipulative and deceiving dick.


One Response to “Apsleys – a case study”

  1. Gabs July 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Utterly brilliant! I am hooting with laughter!

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