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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Putting on the Ritz

Came across this amusing little British series yesterday, thought I'd share with you guys just for laughs.  The Ritz Hotel is, of course, maybe the classiest hash joint in all of London, just at the other end of the block from Clarence House and catty-corner from Buckingham Palace, so to speak. 

The thing that strikes me about these two young men - whom I've never seen or heard of before - is how articulate and open they are about expressing their feelings to each other and to the camera in between practice drills.  When your Head Trucker was that age, straight boys were not nearly that open about their emotions.  Or were they, and this old man has just forgotten?  It does seem, though, that the younger generation is in some ways more up front and laid-back about that sort of thing.

As a side note, your Head Trucker finds the "backstage" stuff rather fascinating and educational, having never waited a table in his life.  If that sort of job ever crossed my mind, I immediately rejected the thought, fearing I would just make a mess of it.  So I scrimped and suffered through a number of other kinds of minimum-wage jobs for years until I finally got done with college.  It wasn't until many more years later that someone finally informed me that waiters can make out like bandits with tips and all that.  As in, make in one night what I used to barely make in a whole week.  Huh.  Who knew? 

I would have needed a lot more training and practice than these dudes got, though. 


Tim said...

I love the Ritz for their famous Afternoon Tea, sandwiches and cakes, but the Savoy has a better dinning experience for lunch and dinner, although I haven't been since the recent renovations. It's mostly Middle-East money behind the big hotels these days, and that normally means too much bling!

Russ Manley said...

Yes, well, all those oil sheiks and such seem to have no other thought than to buy up all of Britain that they can, don't they? I saw a clip a while back, some interviewer was asking one of them why he was sending his son to study at Eton. Back came the immediate reply: "I want him to be an English gentleman!" Something odd about that, I thought; but then when you consider the windswept deserts they and their oil come from, not so surprising, I suppose.

Having tea at the Ritz is a lovely thought, I wish I could do that just once. During my one trip to England nearly 40 years ago, I didn't go to any fancy restaurants but I did have tea one afternoon at a hotel in Windsor. Marvelous treats, delightful custom, a pity we didn't keep that one.

Tim said...

I always thought "Cream Teas" would go down well in America, as a franchise perhaps, but the last time I was in Boston,and New England, it was hard to find anywhere that could serve tea, let alone scones and jam with clotted cream! I think the food police had more influence then, jam and cream weren't good for the thighs!

Russ Manley said...

Tea has been very much a minority drink here since 1773; when you ask for it, you get a teabag in a cup of some tepid water. A real high-class joint will bring you a tiny pitcher, no bigger than your cup, holding the teabag.

It was a surprise to me, then, to discover that in England they not only bring you a real pot of strong tea (no bag) but also a second pot of hot water!

I love the idea of the Cream Tea franchise, much better than the dreary Starbucks (only been once, a friend insisted). But you'd have to somehow work past the atavistic reaction against that limey t-e-a, first. Silly, of course; but that's the reality.

David said...

I tried to wait tables at 18. I was terrible, lasted less than two weeks. Then I hit 21 and discovered I was a great bartender!

Russ Manley said...

It did once cross my mind when I was about 21 that bartending might be fun - I inquired about a position at a club that was advertising but it was already filled. Probably just as well, as I had no experience and would have probly been a klutz at it.

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