No weird names please….we’re British

Had a business lunch today with a great chap who moves lots of money around the world. LOTS of money. His office was near London Bridge so, although I used to work in the vicinity and have therefore experienced my fair share of social venues there, I left it up to my guest to pick a venue. Davys Winebars have a sprawling collection of winbars-cum-restaurants in London but none with a more ridiculous name than Skinkers ( I’m sure there are those out there who will quickly jump to Davy’s defence and tell me how it was named after a collection of dungeon adornments, or it’s part of a ship, or you use them to make pies, or something but frankly you do feel a little odd telling people you’re having lunch in “Skinkers”.

But the strangeness does not end there. No, upon entering the restaurant I was informed that we were booked into a private “room” which I can only describe as a large phonebox. Sure, we had our own coatpegs but this “room” was literally as big as a smallish table for four, and no bigger. Not only did you feel on display, given it was quite visible in the corner of the main, unpenned restaurant, but the waitress kept insisting on closing the door. I now know how people in the Big Brother house probably feel. Hemmed in but with the world looking at them thinking how on earth did you choose to put yourself in that position. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

The food was probably best described as British classics (if I’m being kind) or posh pub grub (if I’m not). 5 types of steak, bangers and mash, fish and chips – you get the theme. Sure, I could have ordered a £700 Chateau Ducru with that but somehow the avant-garde seating and the stodge would have left it feeling rather misplaced. The food was, as it turned out, rather bland. I selected bangers and mash as the most healthy option on the menu (!!!) but the mash was thin, soggy and unseasoned and the bangers looked like they had been parboiled before a final crucifixion in an underheated frying pan. A side of spinach was no better which I’m sure came from the grass clippings box of my lawn mower. Our waitress was, of course, from Eastern Europe (are there no British waiters left in London ??) and she seemed rather preoccupied with another group in a slightly large room – “The Boardroom” – who had clearly decided the best route through the bland menu was to pour fine claret down their necks and, subsequently, their fronts in roughly equal proportions.

All in all quite a disappointing lunch, saved only by my lunch guest who was fascinating and great company. Just goes to show you – even sheep can have a good time.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mr Smith on June 10, 2011 at 11:47

    A Skinker is a pourer of beer or wine – seems a reasonable name for a Victorian wine bar?


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