The Sweet Service Award goes to FedEx and its manager Peter, who assisted in getting the Kokkedoor cookbook delivered, after various attempts to receive it failed. Despite an instruction to call and make a delivery appointment, the delivery staff just arrived, when we were not at the delivery address. We were then sent an sms, detailing how many times they had attempted the delivery, requesting that we call FedEx! I did call them, although I felt that they should have called me. The duty manager could not divulge what was in the parcel – 2 weeks prior the same delivery company had put me through similar irritation for the delivery of Cathy Marston’s book. Between Alan from On the Dot and Peter from FedEx a delivery time was agreed upon, and the book punctually delivered.
The Sour Service Award goes to Le Franschhoek Hotel, a once 5-star hotel, which advertised its High Tea for Women’s Day in the Franschhoek Wine Valley newsletter, making it look so inviting, that I decided to spoil myself, having tried it some years ago. I waited in the hotel foyer/lounge, where it was served when I tried it last. A waiter came to ask me if he could assist, and he was difficult to understand. He said that he would have to ask the chef if they could make the High Tea for me, as I had not booked. In what seemed like ages, he came back to say it was OK. I was shown the restaurant where a whole buffet had been set up. The waiter tried to tell me something else, which I also could not understand, so a young lady came to help with the ‘translation’. I requested a cappuccino, but there was no offer of sparkling wine, which was one of the options (R135 without/R165 with sparkling wine). We were 6 women in the room in total, and the High Tea was the worst I have ever experienced: dried-out white cucumber sandwiches and brown bread salmon sandwiches, while on the savoury side every single item had a swirl of cream, including the chocolate brownie, the scone, and the meringue! I had five items in total from the buffet and the coffee, but could not stomach the idea of paying R135 for what I had just experienced, especially as it looked nothing like the photographs in the tourism bureau newsletter (right)! I had the Restaurant Manager called, but the Food & Beverage Manager Dries Swanepoel came to chat, telling me that they don’t have a Restaurant Manager, and that they use students to man the restaurant! He was very apologetic, about the poor standard and variety on offer, and for the poor service, and for not being present in the restaurant, weekends being his time for paperwork! To his credit he comped the High Tea. It is clear to see why the hotel has lost one of its stars.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website. PLEASE NOTE: The weekly WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards, usually posted on Fridays, will be posted on Saturdays until late December, to allow the write-ups of each of the 18 episodes of MasterChef SA Season 3 to be posted the day after the episode.