Sunday, February 4

A Tartan Tart-up.

When we were living in the inner city Hotel, in the Southern City, there was a Restaurant below our flat.

It had been leased prior to our employer buying the business, so it still had time on the lease.

Our employer was of Scottish ancestry, & he was very proud of his heritage, & his Scottish name.
As soon as the lease was up on the past Restaurant, our employer took over, with grand plans for redecorating & completely changing the nature of the premises.

The Restaurant had been completely seperate from the Tavern side of the business, but our Employer, AFG McG, as I shall call him, wanted it to open up from the lounge bar, with an open door archway.

Soon the wreckers were in the premises, knocking down a large solid wall, which ran just under our upstairs bedroom. The noise & dust during the day were considerable, but it all stopped at night, so we could still get decent sleep.

However, then came the fitting of the new archway, & this involved concrete being poured into the site, as reinforcement for the new arch. After several truck loads of cement had been poured, with no eividence of where the concrete had disappeared, it was discovered there was an underground stream right under the placement for the arch, & the wall they had demolished had actually been quite an important support for the two upper stories.

While we laughed heartily at this discovery, on second thought, we were somewhat disconcerted to realise we were likely to suddenly wake up on the ground floor, unless they could sort the problem out!

It was duly solved, & renovations proceeded. Since AFG McG was the Boss, he could choose whatever he wanted. And his love of Tartan came to the fore, & he decided to have the walls of the new Restaurant covered in his clan Tartan. Pure Woollen Tartan. So up went the Tartan & there were large crystal chandaliers left over from the previous fittings, & they looked beautiful in the new red decor. Red upholstered booth seats, & a beautiful red & gold carpet, completed the new look.

Booths were fitted on the side walls, with tables & chairs in the centre. There was an old fireplace, which had long been sealed off, but AFG McG had it opened to house a rather convincing 'fake fire', which gave it all a cosy glow.

When we first opened the new Restaurant, we had a huge 'cauldron' of hot complimentary Soup of the Day, with a huge basket of fresh bread rolls beside it. It looked very inviting, especially on the cold winter nights that Southern City could produce. But sadly, the customers abused the priveledge, as they are wont to do, & we had to stop presenting the soup freely.

On opening the Restaurant was a big success, as it was relatively new to have Bistro style food available in the city, & it was guaranteed to be very crowded for lunch & the evening meals.

I had been given the management of the Restaurant, so I was very busy, & could fall asleep on sitting anywhere!

As our flat was directly above the Restaurant, imagine my consternation one evening when I noticed water dripping down a Tartan wall! I rushed upstairs to find our son had decided to run himself a bath & in his dreamy manner, had gone off & forgotten all about it!

So after dealing with the upstairs mess, I rushed downstairs to deal with that. I watched in horror, as the woollen Tartan shrank before our very eyes! And the red dye dripped onto the lavish red & gold carpet. And I had to inform AFG McG what had happened.

Not a man given to swear, in front of ladies, he was heard to cuss quite loudly! And who could blame him. However, he was a very nice man who never held grudges, & he forgave us & our son. And as luck would have it, we were covered by Insurance! (to the Insurance company's horror)

So all was restored, & the Tartan got replaced, & SB was never allowed to have another bath without an adult being present.

I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant weekend.

*An Edit* I looked for the old photos of the Restaurant, but they are so faded & dark now you cant really see any colours.

Also my red 'phobia' - I was mostly at the Cash Register, taking orders, &/or out in the kitchen, which was cream & stainless steel. We had a series of chefs, & cooks... they were almost all insane, therein lies another tale!
GOM who was Happy Young Publican Husband, in those days, took over & made a very creditable steak grill cook, in times of need.


h&b said...

I loved that story !
Am finding it hard to imagine the restaurant, but it certainly sounds opulent .. and the soup made me hungry too ( almost lunchtime ;).

Do you have pictures of all these lovely memories ?

meggie said...

H & B, I have edited my post to tell you I did research my old phohos, & did have some, but alas they are so dark or faded they are useless to post.

I have very few pics of the exterior of that old Hotel. It was over 100 years old, & was quite impressive to view from the outside. My son has a good photo from a newspaper article concering the old building, when it was demolished. Sad to think it is now gone forever.

jellyhead said...

What an amazing-looking restaurant that must have been - wish you did still have some decent photos. This is another great tale you've told, as always!

daysgoby said...

That sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing the memory!

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Great story! I just love kids and the things they do.

Molly said...

I can just see the red dye from the tartan dripping down the wall....