Monday, September 28, 2009

FACT: some cafes are better than others

After a hard day's Scouse shopping yesterday (I'm going to the AA Hospitality Awards tonight. I don't have a black tie, so the least I can do is find some shoes that match my frock), I was greatly looking forward to the crown of the week. My friend Carmel has been living in Sydney for three years and she's back on a whirlwind tour of Europe. In Australia, when she isn't eating lovely breakfasts or running on the cliffs at sunset, she's a film festival kingpin, and her nothern England tour culminated in attendance at FACT's Abandon Normal Devices film festival.

It seemed only right, not to mention convenient, that we should conduct the reunion in the FACT cafe. Even on a dull Sunday it's got what they call a good 'vibe', all laptops and big wodges of cake, so I hate to reveal that it is really Not Much Cop. Service is excruciating – our fella avoided eye contact until he'd finished fiddling about with his trolley, gave me the wrong drink, forgot to charge Carmel for hers and generally made me ashamed to be British.

My sausage and chutney sandwich (I always go for the classy option) also contained thick slices of cheese and, even more of a surprise, a small chunk of chargrilled chicken which tumbled unbidden from the bready depths. We didn't risk coffee – after Carmel's three years in a city where it's a matter of considerable pride, ordering a cup in a food operation where pride is scant is really not wise. Nice films, shame about the caff.

And while we're talking FACTs, let me share this: according to OK!, not only does England cricketer James Anderson live in an 'exquisite home' in Hale, Cheshire, but Freddie Flintoff lives round the corner. I'd like to know their chosen venue when, as James informs us, they meet up and go for dinner. Surely not Piccolino?

1 comment:

Jonathan Deamer said...

I do love FACT Café, and enjoy stopping in for a cuppa quite frequently. You quite rightly mention the "vibe" - it's one of the things that keeps me coming back. And while I recognise it's not gourmet food (and doesn't try/claim to be), I've never had the sort of bad customer service experience there that you detail. Hopefully a one off!