Restaurant food with conditions (Rousse)

The view from our well-equipped black metal balcony was of the beautiful mountains – and if you wanted to make a phone call, or post a letter, the facilities were right here too, painted traditional pillar box red.

In the evenings, we walked from our bed and breakfast and across the road to dine in the nearby restaurant with the rest of our family. My Polish colleague ES was one of the waitresses, working under a rather flamboyant manager. The latter wore his wavy black hair long, and paraded through his domain in black jeans, cowboy boots, and a green tartan jacket.

Most nights we remembered to book ahead for a table, but on the very last we forgot to do so. Fifteen minutes before we were due to set off, I contacted ES by phone to ask whether they would have room for us. She hesitated, and then confirmed that a table was available.

On arrival, we were guided to the bistro rather than the main restaurant. There ES presented us with a menu that comprised croissants with a range of unhealthy fillings (only). We were happy with our table but not the choice of food, so I sought the manager to ask whether we might select dishes from the main restaurant menu.

To begin with, the manager appeared to be sympathetic to our request, but it came with conditions. The first was to admire his 100% plastic game of Settlers of Catan, which he kept permanently in his jacket pocket. Another was to watch a strange musical performed within the restaurant. Very poor singers entertained their audience from hanging positions high above the dining tables.

When the manager made to drag my octogenarian mother across the restaurant floor to position her to observe yet another of his displays (and ruched up her delicate lilac evening dress in the process), I greatly regretted the amount of money that we had handed over to this business over the course of our holiday.

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