Friends

13 December 2015

WOMENS INSTITUTE CHRISTMAS LUNCH


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
(honestly) as I was chauffeur to another member. The soup arrived, which was excellent, and then the main course. I had chosen turkey since it was a Christmas meal, and I have to say it was cooked just right. I had my favourite panna cotta to finish and that too was excellent. All in all it was a good occasion, one to be repeated next year.

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.  

9 comments:

Mersad said...

You know how it is, different people have different taste. There is no pleasing everybody when it comes to huge gatherings. I wouldn't worry too much. :) Have a great Sunday!

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Valerie said...

Hi Mersad. In all the years I have shared meals with the WI members I have never heard them complain so I figure that there was something wrong with the cooking.

Ron said...

"To my mind it would have been better to raise prices if money was the issue."

I TOTALLY agree with you, Valerie! And also, since you used the venue every year (even if it was only once a year) I think they should have accommodated the WI by being more adaptable about the minimal amount.

And like you, I'm surprised that some of the others complained about the food when you thought your meal was delicious. Surely, others had to have ordered the soup, turkey and panna cotta, so why would the taste of your food versus theirs be any different?

Well, judging from your good taste in food and choice of restaurants that you've shared on your blog over the years, I'd have to say that those ladies had BAD taste. Ha!

Hope you're enjoying a super Sunday!

X to you and Joe

joeh said...

At least i'll bet the company was good.

Geraldine said...

Can't please everyone. Maybe her food choices were not up to par. Sure looks like a nice place though, but the food has to be top notch too, doesn't it?

Do you have any snow Val? I just finished reading a book set in the UK and the author was talking about the cold, frosty weather around Christmas, with lots of snow. I always pictured England as mild, weather-wise, much like BC.

Happy Week to you and Joe, G (and meooow from Mr. C!!) He got his first 2 (5 star) reviews at Amazon, as of yesterday, so he's a happy camper now. Purrrr.... >^^<

DeniseinVA said...

Well that's a shame after all that hard work. It is hard to please everyone at events such as these. I have organized a few in the past and know how it can be. You can only do your best and I know you went above and beyond to try and make everyone have a good time. Honestly, when I do go out, it's the company I keep that makes the evening, though I know the food is part of it but not all.

Valerie said...

Thank you all for your comments. I would love to reply individually but things at home are such that I haven't the time or inclination to do so. However, I will try and pull myself together soon.

kden said...

When dealing with so many people, there are bound to be different opinions with everything from food to flowers. Those people will probably not be happy wherever they are.

Dan the Mountain Man said...

We have our Christmas dinner at work last week. Same company and meal as the years passed. I like the food. I thought it tasted better this year. But there was a few people who completed about the food.

As for the hotel turning your party away. I do not understand why some businesses or people turn away customer that have a history of coming back to spend money with them. I look forward to return customers and in the case of the hotel I would have maybe offered a different room. The returning customer like you business or they would not return to do business with you and they are more likely to share something good about your business and that will lead to more business for you. I hope you find a better place for the next event and a place you can books year after year.