Not wanting to detract from the fine meal enjoyed at Patron, there was one further thing to mention from our visit.
It seemed pertinent given my gripe about service at the Magdalen Arms. My complaint concerned the practice of bringing out wine after starters and how it renders any sort of attempt to match food and wine redundant.
I am pleased to say that the same thing did not happen at Patron, well certainly not to us. But it did happen to the couple on the neighbouring table and the chap decided to call out the waitress then and there.
Although he had not given the waitress a chance to bring his wine before diving into his frogs’ legs starter, its absence was clearly upsetting his enjoyment of the dish. He built up a head of steam as he got more agitated in his complaint. The flames of his fire were then stoked further when a lady at the table next to him put her tuppence worth in as she left. Needless to say, her comments were not supportive of his cause.
But when the rant was over, he cooled down and carried on with his meal, ignoring the puzzled stares of fellow diners, distracted from their food by a bit of drama.
So, what was the point of this distinctly un-British episode?
Its not as if anything could be done to remedy the situation, the damage was already done.
Its not something that would warrant a discount from a bill or some goodwill gesture, so there was nothing to be gained.
It clearly wasn’t meant to be constructive, as there wouldn’t have been any need for the aggression.
It wasn’t to impress his companion who was slowly sinking into her chair until the intervention of the departing diner (at which point she piped up to defend her man and his right to be an arse).
It wasn’t for the benefit of the rest of the diners, as all it resulted in was a fleeting air of awkwardness.
The only conclusion is that he did it to make himself feel better.
Well done, that man.