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To expect a restaurant to be able to open a bottle of wine

(26 Posts)
grumppa Fri 04-Jul-14 21:29:28

Scene: The dining room of an international hotel/restaurant chain with an adequate wine list. The first course has been served and half eaten, but there is no sign of the wine. An enquiry elicits the response that they can't find anything to open the bottle with. Grumppa's trusty Swiss Army knife saves the day.

I know I'm spending a weekend in the Midlands, but this is ridiculous.

boheminan Fri 04-Jul-14 22:36:25

Good evening grumppa. What an odd tale! Half the fun of having a bottle of wine with a meal out is to sit and watch the waiter struggling with the corkgrin although that pleasure is becoming rarer as screw tops take over from corks.
I'm not a wine connoisseur and will drink anything (apart possibly from Hock or 'Country Manor', neither which have corks).

This is a timely warning for us all to Be Prepared and carry a Swiss Army Knife in our evening bags when we go out for a meal, or in my case, I have tin opener with a corkscrew attached. I would have thought that the Midlands would have caught on how to cope with corked bottles by now. Oh dear - hope the incident didn't spoil your evening too muchwinewinewine

durhamjen Fri 04-Jul-14 22:51:53

I have both a bottle opener and a corkscrew on my keyring, but I've never had the need to use either. It'll probably happen when I do not have my keys with me.

Aka Fri 04-Jul-14 22:54:41

I think you must have been a Boy Scout grumppa ....I can just picture you in those knee length baggy shorts playing with your toggle grin

Aka Fri 04-Jul-14 22:55:24

Or is it a woggle hmm

Ana Fri 04-Jul-14 23:00:28

And of course everyone should have that gadget for getting the stones out of horses' hooves about their person, in case of emergency...

boheminan Fri 04-Jul-14 23:12:06

grinAka Was(is?) a toggle/woggle the thing that kept Boy Scout's neck scarves tidy? or was that a lanyard?{confused]. Having three daughters, I never really knew much about Boy Scouts - though I was an Elf in the Brownies and still remember the little verse that my Sixer group used to leap round the toadstool to - "I'm a happy little Elf, think of other's not myself'hmm

POGS Fri 04-Jul-14 23:18:50


Oh dear, we are not all so backward in the Midlands. grin

As you say it was an international hotel/restaurant chain then it does seem very odd there was only one corkscrew!

Don't let it spoil a good week-end , relax and have a good time.

rosequartz Fri 04-Jul-14 23:31:02

My trusty corkscrew got confiscated at the local airport. Silly me to carry it in my hand luggage. sad

Anne58 Fri 04-Jul-14 23:41:22

grumppa totally unacceptable, complain using various social media, you should get a result! wink

grumppa Sat 05-Jul-14 07:04:26

Aka, I was never a Boy Scout, I'm glad to say. I opted to train as a cold-eyed killer in the CCF.

POGS, I have to tell you that the Midlands has form. We were in a more up market chain hotel in Brum a few years ago and ordered a bottle of champagne to toast daughter's degree, only to be told that someone had gone out for the afternoon and taken the key to the wine cellar.

Phoenix, the staff were so charming and apologetic that it would be cruel to expose them on Twitter or Facebook.

thatbags Sat 05-Jul-14 07:11:06

It was a woggle and it still is.

thatbags Sat 05-Jul-14 07:15:03

The real scoutie way to open a corked bottle is with a SHOE. You also need a wall.

Seriously. Watch the short video. There is a prostate cancer ad at the beginning.

Marmight Sat 05-Jul-14 07:33:25

Wow, thaat's amazing!
I have a friend whose party piece is slicing a bottle of champagne open with a very sharp knife- works every time. Perhaps not a good idea in a crowded restaurant though shock

ninathenana Sat 05-Jul-14 07:47:29

Brilliant !

Gagagran Sat 05-Jul-14 08:04:51

How did he discover how to do that amazing trick? The mind boggles! confused

thatbags Sat 05-Jul-14 08:09:30

He understands the physics of bottle corking.

thatbags Sat 05-Jul-14 08:10:59

In simple terms, if you can force a cork into a bottle (and it does take quite a force; I have a bottle corker that uses the leverage principle), then you can force it out as well, with a bit of clever thinking smile

KatyK Sat 05-Jul-14 09:10:29

Excuse me! I live in the Midlands and have never experienced anything like that. Just the opposite in fact.

grumppa Sat 05-Jul-14 10:04:31

Just the opposite, KatyK? You mean they use a corkscrew to open screw top wine bottles and wine cellars are permanently unlocked? And the staff aren't charming?

Purpledaffodil Sat 05-Jul-14 10:12:15

Boheminan. " We 're the fairies bright and gay, helping Mother everyday" Now where did that come from after 50 years? And another pointer to changes in language meaning as mentioned on another threadgrin

Agus Sat 05-Jul-14 11:02:29

How many times I could have used that great tip. Thanks bags

I was a sprite in the brownies and can't remember what we said sad. Was also a PL in the Guides and very proud of my lanyard, knife and whistle!

janerowena Sat 05-Jul-14 12:03:27

Maybe they had a sommelier, who would have had his own personal bottle-opener, and he went off sick unexpectedly. It's the only explanation I can think of, but it's odd that they didn't have a few spares around.

grumppa Sat 05-Jul-14 12:19:28

The wine list, though adequate, does not merit a sommelier. We're wondering whether to take our picnic set in from the car this evening, just in case.

janerowena Sat 05-Jul-14 12:30:18

Why not?

I used to work in the head office of a large hotel chain, and often visited them. It was astonishing what would go missing, often accompanying a disgruntled recently-fired employee.