Tower Hamlets Cemetery - 19th April 2014 - This place is incredible, a former graveyard which has been taken out of use so nature can return it to it’s humble beginnings.
Steptoe and Sons - House clearing firm in Stepney. This place is over the road from me, when it’s open it’s like an aladdin’s cave of various bit of furniture. You can’t make out that the sign on the left says they clear deceased effects but it makes for an interesting rummage.
I imagine this lean to building isn’t long for this world as London becomes a serious of densely populated flats.
Palm Tree - Truman Pub in Mile End Park, Bow E3, London.
We’ve drunk in here since we were teenagers and there is a jazz band that plays every Friday, they cover all the classics and even let me sing My Way on my 28th birthday.
The pub overlooks the canal and stands proud as the last remaining building of all around it, most of which were destroyed in the Blitz. It is now tucked away in a park and hard to find from the main road, but if you do it’s a proper gem.
The landlord dislikes us, he’s always got an eye on what we’re up to. He seems to have a disdain for “media types” from out of London and despite our protestations that we are Londoners he doesn’t care much. Rumour is that he makes up prices depending on what he thinks of you.
We let him off because he’s a Leyton Orient fan, it’s a hard life.
The Streets, or rather Mike Skinner, has been such an inspiration to me over the years. Once this current album is done I want to look to do a track with him.
A letter is less immediate than when I go to speak, I can have a thought which you don’t know til next week.
A letter is a singular in the alphabet, a is often alone so I wonder does a get upset?
Dear Clive and The Team,
I am an avid fan of Pret A Manger and regular customer, so it is with great dismay that I write to you to report a bad experience.
My oft visited Pret is just south of Angel tube station as it is round the corner from my office. Whether I pop in for breakfast, lunch or just a snack I’m always greeted by a fantastic team with great customer service skills (working in service ensures I keep an eye out for excellent service, which is done very consistently across all branches I’ve visited).
Clive, may I say, whichever chef devised the succulent meatball wrap deserves the highest praise. Whenever I don’t know what to get for lunch I can always rely on a simply devine meat-heavy and well spiced wrap.
For my sins, I am working this Sunday and being alone in the office I thought I would be in good company with a nice meatball wrap. To my surprise and shock, when I arrived at Pret a few minutes ago there were no meatball wraps to be seen, not even a place where they should have been. My dreams were shattered.
Grumbly, but unperturbed I ventured forth to my fallback option of the Jalepeno Chicken. I’ve had it before and again compliments to the chef for a well designed recipe.
I reached the office, barely being able to contain myself such is the hunger I had built up and ripped into my solitary but contemplative luncheon knowing I was safe in the arms of my good old trusty friend, Pret.
My first bite was met with the simple combination of plain chicken and bread. “This is just warming up”, I thought to myself, a smile across my face as I anticipated the tastiness that was about to unfold.
Except, it didn’t.
The more that the wrap disappeared the more my hope faded of any type of tastiness. You see, the chicken was plain and bland, the jalapeños, non-existent. I barely felt a spark let alone the heat from our Scoville-equipped friend.
I munched through my (tasty as always) cheese & onion crisps. But somehow I felt in my heart this wasn’t the experience I am accustomed to. I felt the need to reach out and ask, Clive, is everything OK?
I value Pret for the job opportunities, brilliant service and excellent food. Yet, as I ponder my distressing lunch experience I can’t help but think this isn’t the kind of story you would be happy with.
As I mentioned, I hate to write to complain and I hope you take my feedback as it is intended - from one human to another. I wonder, is there anything you can do to restore my faith in my previously faultless impression of a great company.
Benjamyn J Bailey Esq.
Two days later on 10th April 2013, I received a response from the CEO…
Thank you for getting in touch with us a couple of days ago. Your note has been forwarded to me. I read it with a mixture of emotions as you might imagine. It is wonderful to hear so directly from a true believer but heartbreaking to disappoint you.
The short answer to the question is – yes, everything is alright. I know the chicken jalapeno wrap recipe very well and we haven’t changed it. It’s been a great performer and usually outsells the Swedish meatball wrap.
This means that the problem you experienced was the individual wrap and there is either a problem with the way 402 St John St is making them or there was a problem with that particular wrap. Each Pret product is handmade by a team member every morning and the fact is that it’s possible a product could be completely messed up. We examine all the sandwiches and baguettes before they leave the kitchen, but of course you can’t see through the hot wrap packaging and this level of quality control is missing.
We will ensure the kitchen leader at 402 St John St is taken through all the hot wrap recipes this week – I’m sure he will be extra diligent.
I’m going to send you £20 in a Pret card so that you can buy the wrap again and again – we can then see whether we are making it properly or whether you hate the recipe. I don’t believe the latter will be the problem. Could you send me your postal address so that I can send you the card?
I do apologise that your high expectations of Pret have been so cruelly disappointed.
With best wishes
Bravo Pret, Bravo
BANQUET RECORDS -
more thanstill your local record shop
Well, its been a long time coming. We were talking about this for a little while. Even as long as five years ago when people were talking about how indie stores were folding left right and centre, we were very vocal to point out…