2014 - WI members went for their pre-booked Christmas lunch at Westfield Court Hotel, a venue that had been used for several years. Every Christmas we booked again for the following year. It was surprising, therefore, to be told that in future the numbers attending would be a minimum of 30. Bearing in mind that we only went there once a year it was impossible to know if we could reach the required number. ‘Bring friends,’ was the sarcastic response when I said we might not be able to make it. Not the response one would expect from someone running a business. To my mind it would have been better to raise prices if money was the issue.
So after a lot of thought and asking round the area we came up with two alternatives: the local carvery and the local golf club... investigation to follow since Christmas events have to be booked WELL in advance.
The members were given the choice, which we thought would be based on cost, but the vote went for the dearest one... the Golf Club. Apparently wedding receptions are held there, along with special birthdays, and several people told me that the food and venue was good. With so many folk emphasising the good points, it was only natural to opt for the Club.
2015 - Christmas arrived with more excitement. It wasn’t often we ate at a golf club so the enthusiasm was understandable. On the day at the end of November we turned up in our Sunday best and were ushered into a very smart room with a wonderful view of the golf links from two enormous windows... obviously a place for spectators. There were three large circular tables with decorations swaying over each. Place names indicated our choice of food (we’d had the choice of three for each course) and little silver boxes containing balloons, party poppers and whistles ... the sort of touch that make you feel you’re somewhere special.
And then it was time to eat. Some of the girls treated themselves to wine, I stuck with water
Or so I thought!
It wasn’t until I received a phone call from a member, during which she said how awful the food had been (she chose a different course to me) and that she was going to write to the Club to complain, that I realised all had not been well. Further enquiries revealed that other members didn’t care much for the food either. What was mine, then... was it a special for the President? I couldn’t see that happening but I did see that next year’s plans would have to be changed. Maybe the carvery could offer more quality for less cash. I have been there before and enjoyed it, and am invited to another so I’ll find out. Otherwise... oh dear, I can see a few head-scratching months ahead for yours truly.