Some true Fawlty Towers moments last night at the Holiday Inn London-Shepperton, where I'd taken Mrs W and the mini-Ws for an overnight stay. Service was ridiculously slow and numerous things - ready-salted crisps, pepperoni and spaghetti, for example - were unavailable in the bar and restaurant. My youngest daughter and I were slightly bemused by our main courses, which only seemed to bear a passing resemblance to what we'd actually requested. Whether this was due to misintepretation of our order or lack of ingredients wasn't really clear.
It was, however, the dessert that took the cheese and biscuits.
Mrs W asked for cheesecake and was told that, sadly, it wasn't in stock. Gritting her teeth, she chose bread and butter pudding instead.
And we waited some more.
And then we waited just that little bit longer.
The smaller mini-W had only asked for a banana and we had the strong impression that someone must be flying to Costa Rica to pick it. Eventually it arrived, along with a banana split for her older sister. But nothing for me and the Mrs.
Five minutes later, my cheese platter emerged. But all Mrs W got was an apology. Bread and butter pudding was now off. The good news - every cloud having a silver lining and all that - was that the cheesecake had now been located! The waitress would bring it in just a tick.
All's well that ends well, you might think. Except that when the cheesecake finally made it to the table, it was accompanied by a warning: it might not, in fact, be fully defrosted. Mrs W declared it to be rock solid and sent it back to Basil in the kitchen. Negotations over refunds are still ongoing.