There are many great restaurants around the world that have made a name for themselves and are a staple on the foodie scene; The Fat Duck, White Rabbit, Attica and Blue Hill to name just a few. Given their fame and the quality of their experiences, they thankfully won’t be going anywhere in a hurry. However, like with any new business, not all restaurants manage to go the distance.
As around half of all new businesses fail to survive the five year mark, this means that your hot new local food spot may also not be around for the long haul just by following that statistic. In addition for restaurants there’s also considerations about changing trends in foods and cuisines, rising food and staff costs, and the one thing that is absolutely critical for any fledgling restaurant – footfall.
In our previous article about fine dining etiquette, we covered some of the basics for people who enter the world of fine dining for the first time. Today I want to cover the intimidating and oftentimes, controversial area around splitting the bill. When done smoothly, it feels good and comfortable. However if done incorrectly it may be a rather stressful experience. Not only can it shed a negative light on the whole dining experience, it may also sour the relationship between the diners going forward.
How do we ensure that the bill is split correctly and fairly? There are a few ways of doing it, and which method you choose depends on the situation and the people dining. To help us navigate this subject, we have turned to etiquette expert Bonnie Tsai of Beyond Etiquette to provide some tips and advice on this.
As Michelin have just released their updated guide for 2020 (the UK and Ireland version can be found here), an event which in some circles has as much anticipation and glamour as the Academy Awards, I decided to take a look at what I felt was an under-appreciated category in Michelin’s Guide – the Bib Gourmand.
I feel that most of us are familiar with Michelin’s stars system; rating restaurants from one to three stars. These stars are what Michelin calls “distinctions” and they also have two more ratings: Bib Gourmand and Michelin Plate. The Michelin Plate is to mark if a restaurant has “quality food” and is often the starting ground for a restaurant to eventually try and earn a star. However for me, the Bib Gourmand is more interesting…
During our lifetimes, we experience any number of firsts. First time walking, first day of school, first girl/boyfriend, first car. Sometimes these things just happen, yet other times they are momentous and possibly a little bit intimidating. Once such first that often sets the butterflies in the belly fluttering is entering the world of fine dining.
When travelling long distances, there are a number of aspects that travel providers (such as airlines or bus companies) do to help us become more comfortable, and therefore more likely to travel with them again. These comforts range from improved seating, lower cabin pressure (for aircraft) and entertainment units.
However, there’s also a number of things that we, as travellers, can do, too. You’ve probably seen people with travel pillows or others in their pyjamas. Yet another thing that we can do to make our travelling lives easier and more comfortable is simply choosing the right material to wear.
My journey to discovering the value of luxury was a very personal one, and one that started quite late in my life. Coming from a typical middle class suburban background, I was one of the first in my extended family to attend University. Soon after I found myself in the job market sitting at a desk with a computer collecting a pay cheque each month.
Having disposable income for the first time in my life, I did what any 20-something would do – I spent it. Finally I could buy what I thought were the finer things in life (new clothes, a new computer, a car that didn’t break down all the time) and I could also afford to go out more. Suddenly a night out wasn’t about going to the trashiest place in town because they had a two for one offer, but instead it was going to nicer venues and discovering that alcoholic drinks could be enjoyed and appreciated, not just consumed.