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Tale of two restaurants

Tale of two restaurants

Some years ago, the Scottish Tourist Board ran a campaign to improve customer service in restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions. The board was worried that Scots were not exactly switched on to making sure that visitors, especially from other countries, were cosseted as much as they should have been. There was too much of a take-it-or-leave-it […]

Sinning my soul with a festive fib

Sinning my soul with a festive fib

I won’t be the first, I know, but I wish you a happy new year. I hope the first few days of 2015 have been peaceful and pleasant and that you are looking forward to a fantastic 12 months. Some of you might remember that my December had been less than peaceful or pleasant. I wish I […]

Bake Off beats them all

Bake Off beats them all

Why would a homely BBC TV series about baking be thrashing ITV’s big-budget entertainment spectaculars such as X-Factor? That’s the question that has ITV executives worried. Its one-time blockbuster weekend show is looking peely-wally compared to the record ratings being achieved by the Great British Bake Off. I think I have a clue: warmth. There is […]

Make your own rosehip jelly

Make your own rosehip jelly

Many years ago, in my dim and distant primary-school past, my classmates and I would be encouraged every autumn to spend the weekend gathering up rosehips from hedgerows to bring them into school. We were told that this would help raise funds for school outings and equipment. We must have been easily led, for it never occurred […]

Confessions of a secret school-meals fan

Confessions of a secret school-meals fan

I was chatting to a school-meals lady the other day. Pupils were eating healthier foods in Scotland’s school canteens, she said, because they didn’t get much of an option. It was either healthy eating or nothing, which meant that many teens headed down town for a pie and chips and a can of cola. I can’t be sure, but […]

Scots at their blunt best

Scots at their blunt best

I was out driving with Mrs Harper the other day and passed a restaurant in the middle of rural Aberdeenshire which promised on a big sign: “Home Cooking”. I started laughing. There was nothing particularly funny about the sign or the restaurant. Instead, the laugh came from the memory of a reader’s letter I received roughly 20 […]

Make cappuccino the easy way

Make cappuccino the easy way

You know that I have your best interests at heart, so if you like cappuccino you’ll like this little trick I am about to share with you. This is the idiot’s way to make an authentic-tasting cappuccino for next to nothing. Yes, you can use those little sachets but, on the whole, I would rather […]

How's this for service?

How’s this for service?

I want to share with you what I think is the most amazing example of good service. In fact, I don’t think I have experienced better from any restaurant. I don’t think I’ve even heard of service that equals it. Mrs Harper and I had taken my mother for an early Mother’s Day dinner and […]

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