Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Summer holidays, part the second

In which I continue my systematic, wholly unfounded assasination of popular tourist destinations in coastal Suffolk.

Before I get started I'd like to point out that, in the winter, I love Aldeburgh. It's proper seaside, and is at its best when cold, windswept and mostly empty. There are cosy Adnams pubs, and the best fish and chip shop in the whole entire world. Sitting all wrapped up on the sea wall, stuffing greasy, salty chips down your throat is one of those world-class experiences that make you glad to be alive.

Today, however, I learned a hard lesson about Aldeburgh. It should only ever be visited between October and March.

During the summer, the place is packed to the rafters with wealthy sailing types. Their children are tanned, windswept and overprivileged to the point of boredom. They are Hugos, and they are Petras, and they love each other very, very much (you can tell this from the hugging and air-kissing that erupts when two groups converge in the middle of the tiny, overcrowded pavement). The rest of the town is filled with ordinary people just looking for an ice cream, or a place to sit down. It's like Upstairs Downstairs made real, as the sailing types sneer at the tourists, and the tourists apologise protractedly if eye contact is accidentally made with someone in a higher tax bracket.

So anyway. Today, the queue for the chip shop was enormous, so we attempted to buy lunch elsewhere. May I recommend that, should you find yourself hungry in Aldeburgh, you DO NOT patronise a place by the name of "Munchies". It is pretentious, eye-wateringly overpriced and staffed by a very rude lady indeed. I paid twelve and a half quid for two burgers and a club sandwich. Twelve and a half quid! For takeaway food! And after I'd waited for fifteen minutes outside the kiosk-sized premises that were now trying to accommodate eight oversized nineteen year-old boys called Henry, I thought I might enquire as to how much longer our food might be. Given that they had twelve and a half quid of my money, and all. I squeezed into the shop, and smiled at the woman who had taken my order. Looking me up and down with all the warmth and welcoming of a vegan in an abattoir, she simply barked "I know. There are a number of people waiting. You'll have to wait". So I pointed out through gritted teeth that I'd been waiting for rather a long time now, and I just wanted to see how much longer our food might be. Waving a large knife dismissively in the direction of her hapless assistant, she muttered something under her breath and turned her back on me.

So, lady who runs Munchies in Aldeburgh, should you ever google yourself to check customer feedback, please take on board my constructive criticism. Your shop is too small. Your menu is wanky in the extreme. Your customer service is appalling, and your prices are ludicrous. And do you know what else? Your food was rubbish as well.

And then a pigeon shat on the Other Half, so we decided to call it a day.

Tomorrow? I think we'll stay in.


Anonymous Tattieheid chimed in with...

Should have taken your mother - pigeon might got her instead! :)

Sums up British tourist attractions and attitudes to customer service! Wish we had a decent chipper round here.

Good to have a rant though - Eh!
Loved it,
A new boy on the block :)

22 August, 2006 17:12  
Blogger Homer chimed in with...

Erm, you do realise the carnival was yesterday, honeychile?

(Crawling with hooray henries and bucketing down with rain. It was fucking awful. I'm making LC go next year.)

22 August, 2006 17:46  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

why do you think we went today? carnival. ugh.

22 August, 2006 17:51  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

Apparently we're going on Monday. That would be Bank Holiday Monday.

And its all in the name of celebrating somebody's 40th birthday who isn't in the slightest bit interested in celebrating it.

I think we'll park in Leiston (it haven't the nearest available parking space), hit Fat Face and the chip shop and come home again.

22 August, 2006 18:13  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

That should be "having"...

I need sugar.

22 August, 2006 18:14  
Blogger Homer chimed in with...

Don't get me started, or I'll be down Crag Path later snapping the windscreen wipers of everyone with a London parking pass on their dashboard. Braying, supercilious fucktwats.

I'm going to shut up now.

22 August, 2006 18:21  
Blogger Universal Soldier chimed in with...

I totally agree with you on Aldeburgh - if you are after somewhere quiet during the summer then Shingle Street is good - although there is bugger all there - I'd recommend taking one of those one off bbq's.

22 August, 2006 18:48  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

hmm, that's my bank holiday plans ruined then, unless I take spare windscreen wipers that is

22 August, 2006 21:35  
Blogger The Murphmeister chimed in with...

It's a great beach though if you're shingle.

22 August, 2006 22:12  
Blogger suburban wonder chimed in with...

Maybe the Munchie lady thought she was Gordon Ramsay or something. What revolting service.

22 August, 2006 22:55  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

I hope you left a lot of mess for her to clear up. Stupid wench.

22 August, 2006 23:12  
Anonymous Anonymous chimed in with...

You could save yourself a bit of time here Surly by simply identifying the entire English and Welsh coastlines as godawful and be done with it. You'd only be exaggerating slightly with regard to a little bit of Cornwall and perhaps some of Northumberland (though the North Sea at any time is, of course, frightful). The rest? Dreadful, really really dreadful and depressing - cold, bleak and always much worse than you remember it from the last time you were there.

22 August, 2006 23:40  
Blogger garfer chimed in with...

Anywhere called 'Munchies' should be given a wide berth. These places are all owned by middle class refugees who have inhaled Nigella.

Stick to the burger van. You might get botulism, but at least it will be good honest grub served up with a grimace.

23 August, 2006 00:19  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

This sounds exactly like the New York Hamptons. Only ours are called "Muffy" and "Biff".

23 August, 2006 00:40  
Anonymous Stu Savory chimed in with...

Notwithstanding Surly's rant, I can recommend the chipper
up the hill in Peel on the Isle of Man. fast and friendly and . . .
mmmmm, Mushy Peas! With Queenies :-)


PS: FWIW, "Assassination" has an SS in the middle, rather like Gunter GraSS ;-)

23 August, 2006 05:24  
Blogger Perry Neeham chimed in with...

Thank you, thank you: I loved your description of the Boden children.

23 August, 2006 09:22  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

omg omg omg



i havea friends who live in aldeburgh and we have ALL had horrible customer service in there, ESPECIALLY when with small children

they are miserable cows and i hope you get lots of 'munchies in aldeburgh SUCKS sh*t' searches leading to this post

because it does

i am furious all over again (and my bad experience there is almost two years' old)


23 August, 2006 13:59  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

oh, and the mother of a friend who had bad service there told them that there was "no need to be such surly bitches"

way to go!

23 August, 2006 14:01  
Blogger tom909 chimed in with...

It's not just the coastline. I live on Dartmoor and it's bliss from October to June. Mind you round here we tend to get more kind of 'Guardian readers' walking with fucking ski sticks.

23 August, 2006 14:12  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

makes me REALLY GLAD i live here. our local coastline is inaccessable save by boat and really steep, dangerous trails...and crossed by express freight! we sacrifice a couple of tourists every few years to the locomotive gods and we get unspoiled coastline in return. at least i think thats how it works.

23 August, 2006 20:08  
Blogger Pamela chimed in with...

This makes me want to cancel my trip to England....

No, not really.

23 August, 2006 21:37  
Blogger Billy chimed in with...

Ugh! Sounds horrendous.

(where I grew up, the nearest seaside was Weston-super-Mare. 'Nuff said)

23 August, 2006 22:47  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

So it's fashionable to name your daughter after a Blue Peter dog? If you had twins you could have Petra and Valerie. What fun.
For slightly older Blue Peter watchers, that is.

24 August, 2006 00:19  
Blogger tom909 chimed in with...

No, FN and Pammy, don't get it wrong. England is actually really nice. You can easily get completely the wrong impression by reading stuff like Surly, or Betty, or even myself. This is a type of English humour where you just rip the shit out of everyone and everything - it sounds harsh but it is done with love, only the love is buried so deep it's sometimes hard to spot. Forgive me SG if I have spoken wrongly on your behalf - I just didn't want these yanks to get the wrong impression of our beautiful country and culture. We need those dollars down here on Dartmoor.

24 August, 2006 11:55  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter
Counters Who Links Here