Seen on the Road


Tale of two restaurants

April 10, 2012

Just two kilometres between these restaurants – but a world of difference! Here’s the story….been skiing in France and needed a warm up on a cold day in a village called Les Gets. Went into one restaurant, “le Vaffieu” – frosty reception, sky-high prices and a loo that had no soap, no towels, no hot…


Poppy’s is tops

March 26, 2012

Hundreds of hungry & thirsty cyclists descended on this tiny tea-room.  And they coped brilliantly. Yes, Poppy’s tea room in Thaxted Essex certainly knows how to serve up great refreshments, do it with a smile and in no time at all. The first big cycle ride of the year and 400+ cyclists were en route,…


Angels on a cold day

February 2, 2012

Three angels awaited me at 7am this very cold winter’s morning in Diss. Jess, Steph and Sue and their Angel Café. At short notice they’d agreed to host a business breakfast meeting for the 4Networking organisation. The coffee was on, the tea piping hot, the plates laden with wholesome food. But that wasn’t all.  The…


Yuck! I showed him the door

January 28, 2012

This salesman was so awful I showed him the door after a few minutes. Like most people we get loads of calls and mail about ‘unmissable’ deals. I replied to one. It was for solar panels. The pre-appointment contact by the company was fine and I felt at ease. But as I opened the front…


My bank must think me a fool

December 23, 2011

My bank’s just told me they’re changing the terms & conditions on my start-up business account. Reading through them I was increasingly horrified. New charges for many services, increased charges for others.  Do they really think I’ll go along with that? There must be a choice.  There is and I spoke to them today.  It’s…


Idiot Proof?

December 20, 2011

I’m a challenge for any call centre. So when I got my new Blackberry, I knew I was in for a  good few long phone sessions. But I was pleasantly surprised when the install went more smoothly than I’d expected (maybe my technical skills are improving) and the Orange call centre agent proved so understanding….


Amazing Staff

November 29, 2011

We recently took a quick week’s break in Kenya, staying in the Baobab Resort Hotel in Daini just south of Mombasa.  The stay was excellent, the staff made it. But, our experience was as nothing compared to a fellow guest. Taken ill and admitted to hospital, she received visits from the staff after their shifts,…


Rubbish Service!

November 19, 2011

Went out for an Indian after attending the Business Startup Show at London’s Earl’s Court. The Lily Tandoori looked good from the outside, but the service was shocking. Just seven of us and they couldn’t get the drinks out together or even completely.  Twenty minutes for that. Then when the mains came, we waited another…


Yummy Yummy

October 15, 2011

This corner-type shop does sandwiches that are like doorsteps – so much better value than the thin little things that come from the supermarket chains who claim to offer value. And not only is the food better, so is the welcome.  There’s an incredibly cheery welcome from a very smiley Kellie. So if you find…


Tale of two solicitors

September 14, 2011

I was staggered when a simple request for certified documents was turned down flat. Despite three people being in the office, almost literally twiddling their thumbs, the answer was, “We only do certified copies if you’re a client.” I walked out thinking, “If that’s your attitude, then a client I’ll never be.” The good news…


Smiles make the difference

August 24, 2011

Been up in the Alps for the summer holidays and found a new baker had opened in the village. Interesting, because it’s only a small village and there are already two established. bakers and a couple of small supermarkets – superettes –  where you can buy bread.  How could they make space for themselves in a…


Clean machine

August 12, 2011

Thousands of people on the beach each day. So how do they keep the sea so clean.  Simple, they have a boat to sweep up all the debris. Snapped this “vacuum boat” in Antibes, France. I was happily swimming up and down the line of buoys marking the safe area, as you do, and I’d…


At your service? Not likely!

August 1, 2011

I met two people from a very large bank at a networking meeting in London last week. Why do people from large companies always go around in 2s? So, I had a 1-2-1 chat with one of them. He seemed like a nice guy. I told him the story of how I had been with…


Don’t stop for a drink here

July 15, 2011

Way down on the south coast of France after a day’s walking all we wanted was a decent cup of coffee and tea. We stopped at café La-bas Dine on the Presqu’isle de Glien near Hyères and ordered. It promised “restauration rapide” – quick service. After a very long wait, our drinks arrived. The coffee…


Back on the move

June 22, 2011

I’ve just gone for one of the ultra-portable laptops and was in an area without WiFi.  I popped in my ‘network’ dongle and…nothing.  Flashing light but no connection. My heart sank…I envisaged a long and ultimately fruitless call to BT.  But…not so. Darren, to whom I spoke on the mobile support desk was terrific.  Calm,…


Bionic leg’s a success

June 10, 2011

After many years’ running my left Achilles tendon decided it had taken too much punishment and tore. I sat in the hospital getting ever gloomier.  Months in a plaster cast, forced inactivity, unable to drive, shower, walk, sleep. But, not so.  A quick ultrasound scan revealed the injury and the London Independent Hospital had sorted…


Rendezvous – Caribbean Paradise

April 29, 2011

Just returned from an exceptional few days staying at the Rendezvous Hotel in St Lucia. They say they’re  ‘place for couples’ and that’s how it was, with the service designed to let you concentrate on being with ‘your other half’. Food was great, staff focused on giving great service, visible management – General Manager, Food…


Birthday treat

February 28, 2011

There’s nothing like being treated like royalty on your birthday.  That’s just the experience we had when I took my husband to a Zizzi restaurant.  From the moment we walked in we knew this was going to be good. The maitre d’ took us in hand, let us choose our own table, introduced us to…


Out in the cold

February 24, 2011

Visited a different location today of the health club chain that I belong to. Arrived 06:15 for a 6:30 open. To my surprise, instead of being allowed to await the opening in the lobby, we were told that we had to wait outside – dark, raining, windy. And the reason? We were told it was…


Underwater greatness

February 5, 2011

Today I was treated, that’s the only word for it, to some exceptional service.  After a gap of over 10 years I’m taking up Scuba diving again and needed to attend a refresher course.  After a written exam to assess how much I’d remembered, quite a lot in fact, we went down to the pool…