Thursday, August 24, 2006

Epicurean Watford.

I work for a very large Professional Services company as an Alpha Geek and general technology trouble shooter. My company has offices all around the world; I travel round various offices in Greater London, though my technical home office is actually in Watford. I normally only go to Watford two days a week due to the distance and two and a half hour each way travel time. It can be a bit of a drag, but I have a flexible working agreement that allows me to spend time in the afternoon every day with my Dad in the nursing home. All in all an equitable and convenient working arrangement. I know I am much luckier than many people.

One of the often overlooked benefits employees of my company get (but often fail to appreciate) is a subsidised lunch and canteen area in almost every office building. The fare has historically been pretty bland and uninspiring (and a frequent butt of unfavourable comments on the company online chat room). Things changed today. The catering department tried out a number of new lines for employee feedback - proper fish and chips with mushy peas and served in paper; a chinese noodle and turkey stir fry; fresh Ciabatta bread made into sandwiches to order in front of you - and (best for me) freshly cooked CURRY!

Here is a posting I put on the company catering chat room page earlier this evening:-

My understanding (as a non accountant) is that the company subsidises our lunch, and we "top up" the amount needed to purchase what we want. Whilst it is possible to purchase sarnie, crisps and a drink for the daily subsidy amount, most people will need to dip into any additional credit they have charged the card with. I personally have absolutely no problem with this - where else could you buy lunch for (in effect) a pound or so?

I would GLADLY top up my daily spend by adding another £2.25 to make the purchase price of £5.00 or so per day, if we got food of the quality and variety that was available in Watford today. I had the Tiffin Bites Chicken Curry (labelled as Tikka Massala, but not actually as the meat had not seen the inside of a tandoor), vegetable curry side dish, Naan bread, Pilau rice and a choice of raitha and pickles, all for £3.90. Whilst it was not quite up to the very best restaurant standards, it was way superior to anything you would get chilled from a supermarket (I speak as a member of the Curry Club and a reviewer for the annual Good Curry Guide).

I think that a big "Thank You" should go out to *********** of Watford Facilities and ********** of Eurest Catering for organising the showcase.
(Names obscured as I have not had a chance to ask for their permission to publish outside of work).

More please! I hope that the expanded menu and quality hot food become a regular part of every office in the very near future.

I bet this has shocked you - not a whinge or moan in sight. Normal (grumpy) service will be resumed shortly.

Notice that my profile photo has changed? - The new one was taken in the garden of the White Hart pub during the recently reported Christening party on Sunday. The caravan in the background was parked in the garden of the pub, and actually had someone living in it!

Don't forget you can visit my public online photo gallery Here.

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