Monday, 7 October 2013

Homo Hero Lesson 1: Don't Eat At The Radisson Blu!

There are a few things to be said about the 2013 Homo Hero Awards ceremony, so I'll be scribbing a couple more blog posts over the next howeverlong.  But let us start with the easy one: the catering was awful. It would seem to be a problem with the venue rather than the organisers.

This year the awards were hosted at the Manchester Radisson Blu, the former Free Trade Hall building that is now a well-polished hotel.  Partway through the presentation of awards there was an intermission for a buffet, so we got to find out what their catering is like.

Rule one of running a decent buffet: label your food. This is x, it has y in it. These sandwiches have been ruined by mayonnaise. The amount of cocoa solids in this cake may trigger headaches. Labelling food is such a basic access issue that it drives me to despair how often I see it fail to happen. The pinnacle of fail at last night's event was a selection of sandwiches marked "various". Really. Yes, we can see they have an assortment of different fillings: perhaps you could sort them as you make them and label them so people who feel queasy after eating beef or get ill from eating cheese know which ones to dodge without having a plateful of sandwiches they have nibbled and abandoned?  I'm no posh-nosher nor one of those tastebudless "foodies", but even I know that in polite company, peeling open sarnies at the buffet to see what abomination a misanthropic chef has planted between two triangles of bread tends to be frowned on.

Rule two of running a decent buffet is that whatever your labelled or unlabelled food might be, make it a pleasure to eat.  The last mystery buffet I dined on did at least pull off being tasty grub, but the Radisson failed on that too.  If it had just been me I'd put it down to personal taste but around me were a smattering of disappointed faces shuddering at what had been made from sometimes-promising ingredients. All told, grim food in a darkened room that made you happy to have your plate collected.

As you might guess, I'll not be dining at the Radisson again any time soon. They can't cater for toffee.


  1. Urgh, just everything about that was dreadful; how they didn't even put the lights up, how they told us off for creating a new queue between the table and the wall although even with that it was so busy and cramped there you had about two seconds to make your Russian-roulette sandwich decisions....

    Ah well, made Pizza Hut's finest on my way home seem even more delicious. :)

  2. I managed not to notice being told off for queueing in the wrong place. Probably just as well.