Saturday 10 December 2005 9.31pm
This morning my flatmate and I passed by Patisserie Lila
on Bedale Street
after shopping in Borough Market
. It looked like a really inviting little cafe, so we thought we'd go in and have some tea and coffee.
We sat down and a waitress came to take our order. He ordered a cappuccino and a pain au chocolat. I just ordered a cup of tea. The waitress, who was rather sour-faced throughout, asked if I was having anything from the patisserie. I said no, just the tea please.
She pointed to some blurb on the menu that stated there was a £3.50 minimum charge, and which also stated that all hot drinks orders *must* be accompanied by something from the patisserie.
When I pointed out that my flatmate had ordered something from the patisserie, and that the total order exceeded £3.50, she said that the minimum charge was per person. I said, "fine, I won't have anything - I'll just sit here and wait for my friend to have his coffee and pastry." The waitress said if I was sitting in the patisserie, I had to order.
Furious, we decided to cancel and just walked out.
I've been to thousands of cafes all over the world and never been *told* what I have to order, or indeed that I have to at all if accompanying someone else who is. Am I being unreasonable for feeling a bit hacked off with this place for having such an unwelcoming policy, or is the policy justified?