[Skip to main content]

My L’Escargot Roots - Part One of Two

Posted on Monday, July 4th, 2011

My L’Escargot Roots - Part One of Two

At the age of seventeen I took my first steps in the restaurant business and began working part-time behind the bar of a local restaurant in North London, called L’Escargot. The restaurant was owned by John Moretti, a flamboyant English-Italian bon-viveur and entrepreneur who happened to be married to my mother’s best friend. Gina was petite, elegant, feisty, entertaining and quintessentially Italian. In the dreary suburbs of North London, Gina seemed to me about as glamorous as Sophia Loren with her extravagant, hand-painted silk dresses, designer shoes from Cortina d’Ampezzo and West End coiffure. The restaurant occupied a prominent corner position on a crossroads in a quiet backwater close to London’s northern border with Hertfordshire. It was not, at first sight, perhaps the most obvious spot in which to open a smart French restaurant but the location turned out to be absolutely perfect: it was a short drive from residential areas that had become colonized by professional footballers from First Division (now Premiership) London clubs such as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur and by other nouveaux riches who could afford the big house prices and the golf club memberships. Gina and John became an instant hit with this affluent crowd who greatly enjoyed their hospitality and style and regularly came back for more. L’Escargot was a restaurant full of regular customers. It was indicative of John’s nature that he had named the restaurant in honour of the horse that won the Grand National that year and not, as many people believed, after the famous Soho landmark restaurant with the huge snail above it’s door (our snail was a small bronze sculpture and occupied a prominent position above the bar). John was a keen gambler and liked to tell his friends that he had only been able to afford the restaurant lease after backing the famous horse at Aintree that summer. Having got to know him better, I now suspect that this was all made up but, at the time, everyone believed it to be true.

John was a self-made man who had traveled abroad more than most people he mixed with. As a result he had acquired a more than convincing veneer of sophistication and, in my adolescent view, John embodied the epitome of male chic. He smoked big, fat Romeo y Julieta cigars, padded around in hand-made, Italian calf-skin loafers, drank only the best wines and drove a vintage Mercedes sports coupe. Whatever John lacked in formal education he made up for in style. I mention this because he was always telling people what a bright boy I was (something my father would never do) and how I was getting a much better education than he had ever been permitted to have. He never wore socks beneath his loafers but always kept a spare pair in his brown leather attaché case – “in case I have to see the bank manager” – where they would keep happy company with fat rolls of cash and at least two day’s supply of Havana’s best cigars.

John’s greatest talent was for making people feel special. He would let customers into “secrets”, taking them into a corner to whisper conspiratorially in their ear, and he was always generous with racing tips, even sharing them with me when he felt strongly about a particular horse or greyhound. He was a font of privileged information about shares, currency movements, fine wines and horses. John recognized that people were looking for fantasy and glamour when they dined at L’Escargot and he understood precisely what his and Gloria’s contribution should be. He knew how to flatter people and how to make them laugh; he created an incredible buzz in the seventy cover bistro with its red check tablecloths and improvised liqueur-bottle candle holders covered in thick layers of multi-coloured wax. He could make special occasions all the more special by donning whites and going in to the kitchen himself to create a special dish for a customer whose birthday it was. Later, he might call Gina to come down and share a crepe suzette with these favoured guests. People loved to see John and Gina dining in the restaurant.

I got on very well with John and I must say I liked and admired him enormously. He ran the restaurant mostly hands-on - unless he was away on one of his and Gloria’s frequent trips to Italy - and with its successful combination of popular French bistro food, soft lighting, well-chosen background music and excellent hospitality, L’Escargot was a truly wonderful neighborhood restaurant. I watched John carefully and learned a great deal from him of the art of the restaurateur although I had not the slightest inclination that I might follow him into the trade; I had already set my sights on a Law degree and was preparing for my university entrance exams.

One of the first things he told me when I started at L’Escargot was that we were permanently on show from the moment we entered the building – John never failing to tell me off for biting my nails behind the bar when I wasn’t busy, reminding me that I was in the spotlight and now “public property”, as he liked to say. He showed me how to taste wine correctly, how to handle and cut expensive cigars, the basics of ‘reading’ customers and how to differentiate between those you could be yourself with and those you had to “handle with care”. He adored good food and said that life was too short for drinking bad wine. “But you don’t want to open a restaurant my boy… There are easier ways to make money for a boy with brains like you. People think that what I do is easy and that I make loads of money but, let me tell you, as soon as you hit a quiet patch it’s easy to lose everything you made on the busy days. No, you go to university and become a big-shot lawyer. Now there’s an easy way to make money!”

Stay tuned for Part Two...



Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment form

[url=https://hydraonion2019.net]как попасть на hydra[/url] - Как зайти на гидру, гидра магазин тор

JessieSlece 1 month ago → Respond

Our company offers a wide variety of non prescription products. Take a look at our health portal in case you want to look better with a help of generic supplements. http://4t.medonlinepro.com/it/trombocitemia-essenziale-e-dolori-articolari-93206.html Our company offers a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Visit our health website in case you want to strengthen your health with a help of general health products. http://t7g2.medonlinepro.com/pt/yoga-para-dor-na-coluna-36220.html Our site offers a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Take a look at our health site in case you want to look healthier. http://sy5.medonlinepro.com/es/dolor-en-las-articulaciones-colesterol-29775.html Our company provides a wide variety of pills. Take a look at our health contributing website in case you want to feel healthier. http://o7.medonlinepro.com/pl/forum-bl-krgosupa-73492.html Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription products. Look at our health site in case you want to to improve your health with a help of health products. http://3m.medonlinepro.com/hu/izueleti-fjdalom-kencs-26928.html Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription products. Take a look at our health website in case you want to to feel healthier with a help of generic supplements. http://72uj.medonlinepro.com/es/dolor-articular-harrison-40065.html
Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Take a look at our health site in case you want to look healthier with a help health products. http://o1.medonlinepro.com/pl Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription products. Take a look at our health site in case you want to to feel healthier with a help generic supplements. http://e1h.medonlinepro.com/it/mal-di-schiena-cura-con-azoto-73216.html Our company offers a wide variety of healthcare products. Look at our health contributing site in case you want to look better. http://qe4.medonlinepro.com/pt/tratamento-fisioterapeutico-artrose-joelho-83726.html Our company offers general health products. Look at our health contributing portal in case you want to feel healthier. http://3g.medonlinepro.com/hu/zuelet-fjdalom-ellen-90114.html Our company provides herbal health and related products. Take a look at our health contributing website in case you want to strengthen your health.

Richardovemy 1 month ago → Respond

гидра онион - гидра онион, гидра сайт

BillyCuh 1 month ago → Respond

Hi I'm Gina.
I'm mother of two wonderful 10 years sons. Their father has left us 8 years ago.
I have a question, maybe some of you can help me?
At what age should a parent teach their son about ‘sex education’ if there is no father around or would it be better for the child to have a male family member to do this?
It really bothers me because i've found adult magazine in Their room.

Will be happy to hear any advice.

GinaGercenpneup 1 month ago → Respond

Hello. And Bye.

AngeloLek 1 month ago → Respond

Hello. And Bye. http://yourabout.com

LeslieHus 1 month ago → Respond

Hello. And Bye.

teml442 2 months ago → Respond

Hello. And Bye.

DerrickRix 2 months ago → Respond

порно фото сперма в пизде
Ейей кому оно нуждаться – это порно фото, если теперь, в интернете можно найти сотни, а то и тысячи крутых порно роликов, через которых участник встает моментально? Кому-то такое мнение может заболевать резонным, но, увы, так рассуждают только те, который никогда в жизни не наслаждался просмотром качественной фото эротики и не понимает истинного кайфа, который могут подарить порно галереи. Это немедленно, в жизнь развития технологий, когда скорости интернета постоянно растут и позволяют наблюдать онлайн любое порно, некоторый подобный забыли, каково это – неторопливо рассматривать обнаженные тела для фотографиях, показывать себя близко с голой девушкой, обнажившей упругие сиськи иначе бритую пилотку. А ведь кроме не так искони многие из нас с упоением засматривались для фотосеты, где молодой девушки подставляли приманка дырки для массивных членов парней. И мы представляли, который это наши члены трахают развратниц, сколько это мы жестко и ненасытно жарим их, наподобие последних портовых проституток. Также, времена изменились, но старое доброе порно фото осталось. И если вы зашли в сей часть, значит, вы по-прежнему, вроде и горы лет обратно, умеете расценивать прекрасное и можете неторопливо ласкать себя, пролистывая фотографии с голыми девушками. И как желание не говорили злые языки о популярности видео, все-таки огромное состав людей во всем мире отдельный погода пролистывает порно фото в своих телефонах и планшетах, тайный облизываясь около виде обнаженных девушек, вставивших напоказ свои пикантные части тела.
дом фото голых секс в анал фото

www муж в колготках чулках фото порно

порно фото небритые раком

частные домашние толстушки порно фото

фото женщин за 40 под юбкой

Jeremynib 2 months ago → Respond

https://desinsection.com/dezsredstva/akarifen/ - https://i.ibb.co/cLhy92v/164.jpg

Жилищная служба ДезКонтроль выполняет санитарно-эпидемический сервис по дезинфекции паразитов в Санкт-Петербурге и близлежащей области. Исполнители санэпидстанции производят дезинсекцию домовых муравьёв, дезинфекцию кровососов, избавление от крыс. Работники санкт-петербургской санэпидемслужбы владеют обширными навыками выполнения истребительных услуг для физических клиентов и юрлиц разностороннего профиля. Для обработки вредителей задействуется пароконденсатное снаряжение и надёжные суспензии, поставляемые лучшими компаниями по поставкам синтетических инсектицидов Турции и Европы – Волгоградпромпроект, Basf Agri-Production, Агровит, НПЦ "ФОКС и Ко", Русхим, Доброхим. Для мух употребляются химикаты Акромед-У, Fufanon, Cynuzan, Кукарача, Таран и различные инсектицидные и малотоксичные для людей и комнатной растительности дезсредства. Травка иных вредителей делается средствами Акаритокс, Нексид, Ксулат, Ципертрин, Сипаз, Дуплет, Блокада-Антиклоп – инновационными и безопасными химикатами для обработки населённых домов. Санэпидемстанция СЭС-Контроль – это опытный поставитель санитарной обработки, компания располагает обязательными возможностями и обязательной компетенцией для дезинфекции земельных участков с неизменным эффектом. Эпидемиологическая санстанция Дез-Контроль производит разные работы: выведение блох, удаление растительности, выведение перепончатокрылых букашек. Высокопрофессиональный сервис ДезКонтроль практикуют разные фирмы – торговые заведения, рыночные территории, коммунальные участки: хостелы, хосписы, рестораны, госуниверситеты, сельхозрынки, агробазы. Позвать дезинфектора удалить мышей в магазине можно в каждый микрорайон Питера и Ленобласти. Дезинсекторы жилищной санэпидстанции СЭС-Контроль дезинсицируют клопов по пространствам: Василеостровский район, мо Горелово, метро Маяковская, посёлок Токсово, город Коммунар. На дезинфекцию мух даётся многомесячная гарантия.

Другие запросы: травля тараканов спб в квартире цена, государственная санэпидемстанция спб отзывы, сэс гарант, после обработки от клещей у кота проплешины


AlinaRerie 2 months ago → Respond

[Go back to the top of the page]