'This lot are good at hospitality because they like what they are doing and want to ensure the customers go home smiling'.
My faith has been restored in the brilliant service pubs can offer. Not that it really went away, but it did take a bit of a summer break for a week or two.
Following a couple of average experiences of late I was delighted to be treated like a king at an Essex pub.
I found myself on a work-related mission with a couple of colleagues in Chigwell, a Premier League footballer's paradise if ever there was one, last week.
Visiting pubs en masse is tough at the best of times so we decided we needed a break and headed to the nearest pub we could find: The King William IV
On arrival I muttered something about needing to sit near a power point because my phone was running low on battery, again. The waitress showed us the options near plugs, which were fine but then pointed to a table in the heart of the restaurant area.
"You could just sit here and I'll charge it behind the bar if you don't need it over lunch," she said.
Helpful and considerate, I thought, as I handed her my phone and took my seat.
The pub was reasonably busy but the team looking after our table never neglected us and nor were they overly intrusive. They were also chatty and happy to engage in a way that made you think 'this lot are good at hospitality because they like what they are doing and want to ensure the customers go home smiling'.
'It's his birthday today.' My colleague kindly pointed out as we explained what the occasion was.
It was my birthday too, not that that was the real reason for lunch. That was because we were hungry.
That said, it did make it feel that little bit special when the waitress returned to the table five minutes later with a glass of fizz for me.
It was a very nice gesture and one that put me in a great mood for the rest of the lunch. It might also explain the bottle of Malbec and the coffees we stuck around for (my biscuit even had a birthday candle protruding from it).
As we looked at the menus we were told what came with what, how much would be a sensible amount to order and what the popular choices were. The advice must have been genuine because we were all satisfied with our different options.
Food was served promptly, though having olives and fresh bread to munch on as we waited meant we were less inclined to check our watches anyway.
The service was near on perfect and when the bill came it had been decorated with a smiley face and signed 'Meg'.
It was a sweet, personal touch that made us even more inclined to give Meg a generous tip, though not quite as generous as the £100 my colleague accidentally typed on the pad in at first.
'Shall I do that for you?" said Meg.
She had done everything else so well so why not sort the tip out too?
It was a great lunch that lifted all of our moods and served as a great reminder as to just how great service can be.