Allergic reaction? Some Twitterers are … to bunnies!

These days you have to warn people about things like nuts and or mushrooms in their food. Or whether the chicken was slaughtered in a particular way. The reason for this is that there seem to be a lot more people suffering from allergies or else they’re sensitive to the way their meat is killed and prepared. Or they’re sensitive as to whether their food even contains meat, or protein or dairy.

It must be a restaurateur’s nightmare trying to prepare a menu. But what if the chef also has a problem? Not with the food – but with the kitchen! In Scotland, Cameron Robertson has had to give up his career as a chef because he’s allergic – to the pots, pans and utensils. And now he’s had to give up his culinary dreams. Perhaps with the development of more implements made from silicon instead of metal and with the reintroduction of granite counter tops he’ll find his way back into the kitchen?

Image: Photonut

Image: Photonut

Some of award winning author Jeanette Winterson’s followers were aggrieved when she didn’t give too much warning before posting images of a recently-deceased parsley thief that she had dispatched in anger. Some of her 32 000 Twitter followers didn’t like seeing what she had done to ‘bunnikins’ who had been conducting an ongoing assault on Winterson’s garden. Eventually it was too much for her so she trapped, killed, prepared and ate the culprit. Some of the followers were more outraged by her comments about using the head as a glove puppet than they were about the slaying!

There was a furious Twitter-war raging between Winterson and some of her various followers. With two camps having a go at each other about the origin of food and its preparation. One angry follower wrote that she “… would never read a word you write. Rest in peace, little rabbit.” To which Winterson retorted, “Do you only read vegetarians? …”

Some establishments might consider asking their stocktakers to source a copy of the REAL health and safety regulations in case one of their customers wants to check up on things their staff (or themselves even) might have thought was in or out of the rules. A customer was told in no uncertain terms that her child couldn’t use a staff toilet in a Specsavers as it was “contrary to ‘elf-and-safety regulations” – but this was debunked by the Health & Safety Executive as nonsense. There are a whole lot of other misconceptions too, but it has been very convenient for establishments to use it as an excuse to say “no” to something. Like having to produce ID to buy Christmas crackers. Or being prevented from taking photographs of your child at a sports event under the Child Protection Act. Also rubbish.

Just as well, then someone was “breaking the rules” at a rugby game in the Herts Shield junior cup final when an unsporting parent was snapped deliberately tripping a player to prevent him scoring.

Jon Rutter and his team of professionals will tell you exactly what is and what is not permitted in the establishments that they look after – and contrary to the opinions of some, you CAN take photos of the food you’re about to eat and post it to Twitter – even if it’s rabbit!

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Rules are made to be broken, said Bernard!

D Day CollageAccountants and stocktakers like Jon Rutter will tell you that there are rules for a reason and that they should not be broken. Like making sure that for every credit there is a corresponding entry in the debit column, or something like that. He will tell you that without the rules in place the wheels of a business can quickly fall off.

Sometimes ordinary folk will look at rules as something some “jobsworth” has invented to spoil our fun and restrict our freedom. One of those occasions is the ruling that has put a stop to what has been going on for 900 years – yes, Morris dancing cannot continue from Nottingham to Southwell. The Nottinghamshire County Council traffic manager has said, among other things that“…a need to recognise the complexity of managing old events safely on today’s roads which carry high volumes of fast-moving traffic.” Why they don’t just close the road like they do in Monaco, or on the Isle of Man or in half of France when sporting events happen. But then I don’t suppose Morris dancing brings in as much cash as racing does.

Sometimes the rule breakers just take the view that they’re going to do it anyway and the consequences be damned! Like Bernard Jordan who told the staff at his care home, “I’m going out for a while …” after they told him that he couldn’t go to Normandy for the D-Day memorial events. But he went anyway and those who told him “no” welcomed him back with applause! Bernard’s day out saw him negotiating a bus and ferry trip to pay his respects to those who fell in the events and after D-Day. No regulations and rules were going to stop him – that’s the spirit that won the war! If some of the present day ‘elf-and-safety’ crowd were around in 1944 they’d have had the whole fleet wearing high-vis jackets and “Mae Wests” in case they fell overboard en route to the Continent.

It is also fitting that Mr Jordan hails from Brighton and Hove – the town where Rutters Stocktakers is head-quartered. Mr Jordan was also mayor there once and moves are afoot to have the Freedom of the City bestowed on him. I suppose it was easy for Mr Jordan to sit at the care home and ponder his moves seeing as you can virtually see Normandy from Brighton. Sometimes breaking the dictats of others is a no-brainer.

One wonders what the safety officers will make of the chef in Grantham in Lincolnshire who has invented a curry that is three times hotter than pepper spray. Apparently the customers who want it are made to sign a disclaimer warning of the consequences of eating it. For those hot food aficionados, this brew is 12 million on the Scoville heat measurement scale. What other stocktaker has to include goggles and gloves for the chef and gloves for the customers in his customer’s inventory?

It would be curious to know why people put themselves through that type of heat-experience … but hats off to the chef whose seen ‘an opening‘ in the market for this type of nuclear curry dish, boldly going where no gastronome has been before.

Here to vote? What colour do you want your pancake?

Rutter Collage‘Politician-speak’ is the use of a number of words and phrases that are designed to placate, pacify and deflect scrutiny. Some people call it ‘spinning‘ or saying things in a way that while no untruths are told, the real story is not revealed to those asking the questions. And while this week may have been a bad week for some politicians don’t think that ‘politician-speak’ is only limited to them.

Renowned chef Marco Pierre White (or at least, his spokesman) was quoted as saying things like, “… we can confirm …” and “… the feedback was provided in an informal way …” and my favourite, “… we have acted on what needed addressing and we continue to work closely with the Birmingham City Council …” All this because the food safety inspectors slapped a zero-rating on the good chef’s four-star restaurant that sits perched on the top of the block in Birmingham known by many as The Cube. But I suppose mouse droppings, mouldy cow carcasses and old and re-labelled chicken will do that to a restaurant. I shouldn’t think that there was much ‘politician-speak’ behind the closed doors of the restaurant when Marco got his certificate and window sticker with a big fat “Zero” on it that is supposed to be displayed to the paying public.

More of the same type of language was doled out too by the powerful and seemingly immoveable Sepp Blatter who admitted that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was “a mistake.” In response Gary Lineker Tweeted that he imagined that “Sepp’s resignation letter was being composed as we tweet” … don’t hold your breath, Gary. Sepp has indicated that he will be seeking election for a fifth term as FIFA President next month. The soccer supremo suggested that his French rival who might oppose him was “… a man of very deep character, he wouldn’t do it.” The maneuvering and discussions that go on in the corridors and boardrooms across the world of football also confirm that “politics” is not always limited to running a country. Perhaps the irony of Sepp’s comments about referring to his rival as being of “deep character” was lost on himself.

The good news for Gary and other supporters of Team England is that London has once again outshone the French. London has been crowned the most attractive city in the world, knocking New York of the top spot, while Paris moved down two places. This has got have a positive impact on attracting visitors to England in general and to the capital in particular. So people like Jon Rutter and his team of professional stocktakers will probably have even more challenges placed on them as their customers plan and innovate to stay ahead of their competition.

Jon is probably hoping that he doesn’t have to analyse the profitability of new technology someone might want to install in their restaurant after having read about personalised pancake designs. If some place that sells pancakes gets it in their heads to get the “design-your-own-pancake” machine it will be one more thing to consider whether it is worth investing in or not. It is a nifty little number though. Apparently you can program in a unique design and then the “PancakeBot” machine uses CAD technology to distribute the design, in batter, onto a hotplate. Flipping the pancakes still requires human intervention.

Knowing politicians, though, come this time next year you might find a slew of tables outside polling stations with activists giving out pancakes in the shape of their party logo using coloured batter that matches their party’s colour.

All it takes is teamwork …

SeatsIt’s only a ten minute drive along the A56 & A57 to get from Old Trafford to The Etihad but even though they’re in pretty close proximity to each other, the similarities in atmosphere within the two giant clubs ends there! ‘City’ are already talking about conquering Europe while Man-U ex-captain, Roy Keane is urging his old club to ‘get tough’ and is also suggesting that some other personalities need to step up to take responsibility for the Club’s showing over the season and not lay everything at Moyes’ doorstep.

A lot of what Keane says can be translated into one word, “teamwork.” Clearly, City was the more successful club of the two from Manchester that gelled as a team and they have the results to show for it. A disjointed team, for whatever reason will result in below average performance and sometimes even cause the whole shebang to leave the rails completely.

Sometimes the main players in a team forget that there are others who are also part of the same team, just not as prominent. Like the chap who carries the drinks, or the one who arranges the bus for the team to travel in, or the person who makes sure that nothing gets left behind in the change-room when the players go back to their hotel. They’re all part of the team but most people don’t even know they exist. And if their particular function breaks down, it impacts on the whole team – sometimes as a minor irritation and sometimes with catastrophic consequences.

Well, someone dropped the ball at Jamie’s Barbecoa Butchery recently and the whole team felt the impact. But, it only came to light after a freedom of information request was submitted (I suppose some things don’t liked being aired to the public). It revealed that the establishment had received a ‘hazardous‘ assessment and closed down to remedy the situation. This is not the first time this type of problem has plagued Jamie – last year his Portsmouth branch of his Italian chain paid £17 000.00 after pleading guilty to breaching the Food Safety Act.

Many establishments will agree with Jon Rutter and his team of professionals when they say that their stocktaker is definitely part of their team. They work in the background and most folk aren’t even aware that they exist. But without them the wheels of an operation can come off rather rapidly. Stocktaking services provide all the figures needed to keep up to date with exactly what is happening at the premises. Specialist stocktakers ensure that the their extensive experience avoids unnecessary wastage or losses (whether accidental or otherwise) and recommended action is passed on to the client to keep everything running smoothly. Just what a team needs! 

Some restaurants have had a team member suggest installing fish tanks as they can create an ambience of peace and tranquility. Others have tanks so customers can choose their own particular fish or crustacean to have prepared for them. One hotel in the Maldives has gone to the other extreme and has their restaurant built under water to give diners a view of the free-swimming fish, turtles and other sea creatures all around them.

The hotel is inviting the guests to “dine with the sharks” … hopefully the sharks don’t get confused and start thinking the ‘tank’ is showcasing diners for their benefit.

We DO have a child-free area, sir … it’s called the cockpit

Airplane Flying Towards The SunsetThere are times when people visit restaurants and pubs for special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations. Sometimes business meetings also take place over a meal or a snack accompanied by a glass of wine or a pint of beer. The waiting staff and management of these establishments are generally conscious of these things and usually don’t intrude on the people’s conversations – they like to leave them to get on with it!

But when a guest arrives with a child in tow it has been known to cause some consternation and disruption. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong or bad about the child, but management may be concerned that some of the child’s table manners and behaviour might not be as restrained as the majority of the patrons they are trying to serve. And this is why Grant Achatz, chef of Alinea in Chicago, is considering a ‘baby ban’ at his restaurant as it would put diners off their hors d’oeuvres and other courses.

It is reported that some diners have expressed the opinion that they would be livid if they were out for a quiet dinner and their senses were being assaulted with a crying baby in the background. Especially if they are paying the type of prices the Alinea charges.

These ‘noise’ concerns are probably also the reason that 7 out of 10 Britons also want to see child-free flights on airlines. It is reported that as much as 35% of those interviewed would be prepared to pay extra for child free flights. The awkward part about the survey though, reports that ‘drunk and rowdy travellers’ or ‘people with bad hygiene’ and ‘seat-kicking passengers’ were rated even more aggravating that crying babies. So will there be advocates of alcohol-free flights? And who is going to determine who are those with bad “B/O” and redirect them to board the ‘stinky’ flight from Heathrow to Dubai?

At what age does it then become acceptable to introduce one’s child to fine dining? Some would even say that there are some chefs even better behaved than their customers – regardless of the customer’s age. And when is it acceptable to have a child in a flight, when there are adults who cry and shout and throw tantrums on a plane when there isn’t a child in sight?

The lawyers must be rubbing their hands in anticipation.

In much the same way Mrs Attenborough’s barrister son (how convenient for her) had prevented a cricket team from hitting sixes when they have home matches as it might annoy his mum. She doesn’t like the odd cricket ball landing in her garden which is next to the field. Apparently they have come to an ‘amicable solution’ with the club. I’m sure that the Britwell Salome Cricket Club’s opponents are the ones who are most pleased with the solution – especially if they have a dodgy slow bowler – they aren’t going to be slaughtered in their matches.

All the permutations each restaurant, each airline, each cricket club has must be challenging to stocktakers like Jon Rutter and his team of professionals. What a good thing there are easy tools like spreadsheets, stock programmes and CRM platforms to help them keep track of what each client needs in their quest to keep patrons happy.

How long will it be until a restaurant is threatened with legal action by some customer with a relative who’s a judge for playing the wrong music, or being seated at the wrong table because it upsets their feng shui?

It’s all smoke & sundials …

nor in Llanfair PG

nor in Llanfair PG

Maybe he was just trying to compete with the speed with which Amazon delivers groceries. And he was so close to his depot too, only to have his journey cut short by the unfortunate accident he caused – trashing five other vehicles and a house. For all one knows the Tesco driver had been told to ‘shake a leg’ that day.

Perhaps the driver had been told about Amazon pulling out all stops to compete in the grocery-delivery business and that they were going to take on the big supermarket chains. Amazon boast that if a customer places an online order by 10am they will receive their delivery by dinnertime. And if you shell out more that £35.00 there is no delivery fee!

The report states that the driver was treated for shock. Perhaps the other vehicle-owners and the people in the house didn’t need treatment, but the report wasn’t that clear?

After last week’s revelations about the possibility of glasses with lines on them to indicate the amount of units in them, another marked glass has made its appearance. This time stocktakers can relax as it may not make up too much of their customer’s inventory they have to budget for as it won’t be compulsory. A pair of friends have perfected the ultimate range of “sunglasses” only not the type you wear on your face.

This is a sundial-on-a-beer-glass. Which is great news for those folk who are drinking outside, in sunny weather and somewhere along the 51st parallel of latitude who don’t have a watch or a mobile with a clock on it. So it is great if you happen to be in Canada, Germany or even Kazakhstan (not sure how popular it will be there…) – or anywhere else along that line of latitude you’ll be fine. The trick is knowing which way to align the glass so that it will accurately indicate the time. Jackie Jones quite rightly reflects that “there is nothing else like it on the market.” It does NOT come with a compass attached, so you’ll have to BYO.

Jon Rutter and his team of stocktakers have no need to worry about this time-telling-beer-glass being added to many clients stock, though. As the further north they go the possible usage of this quirky item wanes. The Scots won’t be able to enjoy at all, even when the sun does come out over Edinburgh, because they’re on 56°N.

How do you say it

Listen here!

The locals in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch (affectionately, and most sensibly known as Llanfair PG by the residents) have launched a voluntary project of making their town a non-smoking zone, even outdoors! Predictably, the smokers lobby group ‘Forest’ is reported to be ‘fuming’ but the Anglesey council said that the scheme had been ‘widely welcomed.’

But this raises another question that doesn’t appear to have been answered – what about the e-ciggie proponents? Can they ‘power-up’ in Llanfair PG and will ‘Forest’ fight in their corner because there is no real smoke?

“Big Brother” also slips up from time to time …

Line Of Police Cars In EnglandMany have complained that we live in a society where our every move is scrutinized. Others embrace the concept arguing that if we aren’t doing anything wrong there is no need for concern. But Sophie Vaughan was minding her own business in traffic, in a traffic jam no less, when she took a sip from her Slush Puppy.

A sharp-eyed policeman on a bike spotted her actions and handed her a £100 fixed penalty for ‘driving without due care and attention.’ Perhaps he thought she would throw cold Slush Puppy in his face and felt he needed back-up, so he called for reinforcements and another three colleagues came to his support. Ms Vaughan will now have to go to court to have the 3 penalty points that came with the fine rescinded, even though there is no clarity in the law on whether eating or drinking while driving is illegal. The law merely states that ‘if you present a significant danger’ and if the police think ‘you are not in proper control of the vehicle.’ So it appears that this particular band of four officers felt that sitting in a stationery vehicle and sipping a drink rendered Ms Vaughan reckless.

But for the Met officer who was caught on camera, sipping at his drink while he was driving his patrol car there seems to be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black going on. I’m sure the Met would argue that police officers undergo stringent driver training before being placed in charge of a vehicle, so presumably being able to “sip-and-drive” comes into their training regime.

What happens if someone is seen chewing gum while driving?

Another ‘Big Brother’ moment occurred when it was mooted that pubs or restaurants should have glasses with lines marked on them that indicate how many units of alcohol are in the glass. The campaigners for this move appear to think that if the lines are prominently displayed on each glass then consumers will suddenly suffer a dose of ‘guilt and responsibility’ and only consume what the recommended plimsoll line indicates. Or consumers will decant their drinks into their own glasses or they will develop ‘line-blindness’ as a consequence.

If the move was introduced, would the Palace also follow suit at their State Functions? Would restaurants be able to order colour-coded lines on their glasses to match their décor? It would be a maître-d’s nightmare trying to get his table settings to look good in a Michelin-starred establishment with all those lines, logos and information printed on their finest crystal.

For hard-working stocktakers there was some cost-cutting good news from the USA recently. A 14 year old student in Pennsylvania has advised the USA Government how they can save $400m by making a simple adjustment to the way they print out things. He worked out and analysed that by merely changing the font on their documents from Times New Roman to Garamond the amount of ink saved on the less bulky font will save that massive amount of dosh!

Now if Jon Rutter and his professional team recommended a pub or restaurant change their menu fonts in order to be more profitable, it is unlikely to save them $400m – but the principle of using less ink on the fonts and not so many twiddly bits as decoration could reduce the number of times the print cartridges are changed, which mean savings. Stocktaker’s job done!

Or you could just use a blackboard – chalks are probably cheaper than paper and print cartridges. It would save more trees too.

Social media could go ‘viral’ …

0833-business-1100021594-10182013Nearly a year ago we made the point that like it or not, social media is here to stay. Some folk use it much more than others – either as tools to help their business, others, merely as a means to stay in touch with gossip and frivolous communications with friends.

One person (and maybe there are others too) use it as a form or revenge to vent their ire on bad or non-existent service. The case in point is when a Bristol graphic designer ordered and paid for a PS3 console from a Gumtree advertiser but his item never arrived. And when he couldn’t get hold of the ‘seller’ he realized he’d been conned out of his money. The police felt that there was little hope of ever catching the conman so Mr Joseph used his unlimited O2 contract to extract his revenge by sms. Having the conman’s mobile number he merely copied and pasted the entire works of Shakespeare into one message and sent it to him – all with one click. Mr Joseph’s iPhone automatically breaks the message down in over 29 000 messages of 160 words and merrily sends them on their way.

So if you happen to spot a Gumtree ad where someone is selling a “fully functional mobile that recites all Shakespeare’s plays” perhaps it would be the conman trying to relieve himself of an sms deluge.

One of the most well-known, some would say notorious, sites that people consult about checking on good and bad experiences, is Tripadvisor. Laughing Buddha owner Jin Cheng tells of how he spent years building his reputation on Tripadvisor but seems to have only negative reviews now owing to his ‘losing it’ with his customers and having 43 patrons walk out en masse without paying after the row over service. Police have commented that it is a ‘civil matter’ – some might suggest to the Kent Police that events were decidedly uncivil.

So with the Laughing Buddha’s decided lack of humour going viral in the most negative way, consider how a social media trend has had the opposite result and raised over £8m for charity. The idea of ladies with no make up,  posting ‘selfies’ on the internet was the unique idea of Fiona Cunningham. But it went further by her urging some friends to make a donation to a cancer charity when posting a ‘bare-faced’ picture and then issuing a challenge to some other friends. She said she was inspired by Kim Novak’s decision not to wear make up to the Oscars and she just took it further.

The recent good news the Chancellor declared also went viral – the news that the alcohol duty escalator was scrapped and the price of beer coming down spread pretty rapidly. The news was being ‘Tweeted’ as it happened so those sitting in pubs and following events knew about it straight away and probably ordered a celebratory pint immediately.

Jon Rutter and the team of professional stocktakers welcome this news with their customers – and they are also working on getting their own “How our stocktaking service can help YOU!” video on YouTube to spread the word too.

It seems that using social media is the effective way to share all types of information, not at all “Much ado about nothing,” it’s more about dealing with a tempest. We have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, is there a social media platform named ‘Shrew‘ yet?

This £ is genuine, Guv – it has 12 sides to it!

Image: Chris (chidsec)

Image: Chris (chidsec)

Over the centuries there has been the cry for education – and that it will make a difference. It will be the factor that allows one to move forward. To be successful. But even with 17 GCSE’s it didn’t stop a young lass from Blackpool looking like a right plonker!

Her ‘education’ saw her referring to the President of the USA as ‘Barraco Barner’ but she blamed this misnomer as a fault with the predictive text function on her mobile phone. As one does. She was also quick to point out that politics was not her strong suit. But that she had gone ahead anyway and voiced a political thought on ‘something that wasn’t her strong suit’ could point to the idea that young folk are trying to become more politically aware especially with an election coming up in the next year. 

One wonders what names she’ll assign to the current crop of politicians sitting in Westminster – Cameron Davies, or Edmund Miller?

It’s a very good thing that spreadsheets and accounting packages don’t have predictive text – or maybe they do – if you glance at the comparison prices recently revealed in the latest supermarket war. The poor stocktakers must be tearing their hair out at the way things change. Morrisons have slashed the price of certain foods, forcing others to follow suit in order to stay competitive.

And the consumers raised a collective cheer!

However, the downside for the consumers is that they might have to supermarket-hop in order to take full advantage of the lower prices. These days most shoppers are too street-wise to fall for the ‘loss-leader’ strategy implemented years ago that attracted customers with really low prices on selected items only to catch them on the other things they chucked in their trolleys that were much dearer than in other shops. This was the way things levelled out for the supermarkets and they continued to make profits. But looking at the price comparison charts it appears Lidl and Aldi still have the lower prices.

Some changes take longer than others. The £1 coin is going to change …. but not yet …. only in 2017. Her Majesty approved the change yesterday but one wonders why it takes so long to make a new one? After all, the artwork and mock-ups are done, George Osborne didn’t take the Queen a rough pencil sketch to approve did he? And the reason for the change is apparently the new coin will be harder to copy. So the chaps circulating the counterfeit ones have another 3 years to ‘make hay’ so to speak.

Of course not everyone is happy with the proposed new coin. A whole phalanx of Councils and vending machine owners are already saying the thicker coin will mean they have to modify their machines at huge cost. But people like Jon Rutter and other forward thinkers who know about keeping up with technology and trends will be advocating using things like apps, smart phones, pre-paid credits and scanners to pay for things that vending machines vend. If they’re going to change the machines they might as well change them to the type of technology that can handle future changes ad infinitum instead of just making the slots bigger.

And seeing as they have three years before the new twelve-sided pound hits the streets, they’d better get on with it! Let’s see who starts innovating – could this be a “Dragons Den” opportunity?

Two iced teas and a ginger tom, please …

(Update: the butcher in Sudbury who was pressured by one person to remove his dead animal display from the window of his butcher shop has received so much support and encouragement from the local residents and businesses that he has put the display back up. The local businesses say that his display actually brings visitors to the area to see it and that there is a spin-off of increased sales to the neighbouring shops. It’s good to know that one complainer has basically been told to mind their own business – or words to that effect.)

Kiddy Kat 1There were two situations that caught the attention of the courts recently, and possibly also the attention of some stocktakers.

The first was the case of the ‘greasy-fingered’ McDonald’s customer. Mr Lucas is suing Ronald McD for $1.5 million because they neglected to give him more than one napkin and the incident caused him so much mental anguish he is now unable to work. Was that Californian McDonalds trying to save some costs on their overheads by cutting down on their paper napkins? Was it a suggestion from their stocktaker or Franchise holder? We’ll probably never know as unsurprisingly, they have declined to comment on the incident.

The other case was probably where a stocktaker (we have to blame someone) urged the management of an Essex school to make tomato ketchup freely available. So available that it was lining the corridors – or that’s how it sounds. One teacher was awarded £230,000 because he wasn’t looking where he was going and he slipped and hurt himself as he walked out the staffroom. With that type of payout, perhaps the rest of the staff will now diligently be looking for any stray sachets of tomato paste so they can also ‘hit the jackpot’ so to speak. And they said teaching wasn’t dangerous!

In other news, it is probably a first for some professional stocktakers like Jon Rutter and his team if they were asked to add ‘cat food’ and ‘kitty litter’ to their restaurant customer’s inventory. What has been popular for years in the Far East has arrived in London – the first ‘cat café’ where customers can have their cake and tea while cuddling a cat at the same time. And it seems to be very popular too, seeing as their website crashed from booking enquiries within hours of it opening. The owner does say that she is unable to own a cat herself where she lives – so I suppose the next best thing is to stock up with moggies at work. The cats are ‘resident’ so anyone wanting to visit can’t BYO (and if Jon Rutter does happen to visit there he would be well advised not to take Unique Billy with him – it could cause a bit of a stir)!

Hopefully, no one allergic to cats will visit either – it would be a test case if Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium were to be sued by someone because they had started sneezing uncontrollably as a result of the décor.