Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Fully Booked"

On the down side, the U.K. economy slumped the most in at least two decades during the fourth quarter, property values are dwindling, investments are slumping and we’re all worried about our jobs. On the plus side, at least it should be easy to get a table at fancy London restaurants.

Think again. Yesterday, I tried calling about a dozen of the best-known eateries, plus the Fat Duck in nearby Bray, and had little luck securing a table for two people at 8 p.m. on Friday. Only one venue (Sketch) had the time I wanted, though Nobu had a cancellation for earlier that would have worked if I’d been keen...Elsewhere, at Marcus Wareing, the earliest Friday-night booking was for June.

-Richard Vines, Bloomberg

Of course prosperity existed for some, and was to be seen on the surface. Those eating well in restaurants were those who could afford to eat well in restaurants. As money saved diminished like a lump of ice on a summer's day, there was in any case every incentive to eat it, drink it or be merry with it.

-Adam Fergusson, When Money Dies


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've noticed the same phenomenon in my town. It's not impossible to get a table for a Friday, but you need to make a reservation well in advance, and the downscale bar food places don't seem to be hurting for customers either.

1/14/2009 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of the fortunates who have a great job, with a flexible schedule, and earn a very comfortable living.

After watching what has happened to my "investments" since 2001, I have seriously questioned the wisdom of saving. I'll still fund my retirement to the max (chiefly for the tax break), but my strategy is be debt-free, pay all my bills, and the rest is MINE for fun, for experiences.

And, right now is a terrific time to find bargains in cruises, in hotels, in all sorts of travel and nice things that I'm no longer sure will be available to me in a few years.

Again, I'm not in debt, nor am I going in debt. I have a year's worth of subsistence living money set aside if the worst occurs. But the rest of what I earn is mine.

1/14/2009 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And, right now is a terrific time to find bargains in cruises"

Just stay off the coast of Africa...and at what point will the rest of the coasts descend into lawlessness.

1/14/2009 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I can go down to the local McDonald's anytime I want and get a double-cheeseburger value meal for $2.99. This Vines guy is clueless.

1/15/2009 9:54 AM  
Blogger GoldenScrooge said...

The chain restaurants are hurting. It is the middle class that is feeling the pain. They are the people who will have to pay for our dear leaders mistakes. The banksters just got 350 billion. They should eat well!!! Bennigans is bankrupt, chillis, olive garden, fridays, etc. Have all seen their stock prices tumbling.

1/15/2009 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new mantra is "WE"
I've heard just about enough of "ME"

1/15/2009 7:57 PM  
Blogger GoldenScrooge said...

We...ahh yea. The joys of communism. No thanks. I'll pass. The problem with 'we' is that there always seems to be one class of we doing better than every other class of we. Mainly the people in charge of making sure everything is "fair". Of course the people with political power and their friends always seem to do a bit better than everyone else. Of course all you have to do is take a trip through the DC suburbs to find out where all America's wealth has been consolidated. I tell you what though...i'll embrace your we if you get a big enough mob together to burn down DC. Whatever form of government...or whoever is in power won't matter. They will fear the people rather tham rule the people. And we will be ok for about 50 years again.

1/16/2009 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the Zimbabwe currency news on Friday?

1/16/2009 10:45 PM  

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