A Dinner at the Ritz
'Let's go out to dinner this evening Alberta,' declared Mike. 'I would like to discuss my project. I am sure that you would be able to help me. The way in which you treated those cyclists was superb. You are gifted. What do you fancy to eat?''Thank you,' said Alberta. I would love some fish and chips.'
'That's easy' said Mike. 'Let's go to the Ritz.' 'There used to be a Ritz Chippie at the end of our road when I was living in Newcastle' responded Alberta. The chips were delicious - with loads of tomato ketchup. I wonder if it is the same people?' 'Well this Ritz is at 15, place Vendôme' said Mike. 'We will soon see.'
'Some chippie!' The Paris Ritz is a five star hotel situated in the heart of Paris, in the first district and classed among the most luxurious hotels in the world. The hotel had been founded by the Swiss hotelier César Ritz in collaboration with the chef Auguste Escoffier, in 1898. After the death of the son of César Ritz in 1976, the Ritz family sold the establishment to the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed.
In August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales and the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi, dined in the Imperial Suite of the hotel before their fatal car accident. Mike and Alberta dined in le restaurant L'Espadon. The maitre d'hotel greeted them like his best friends.
First of all he recommended the Seasonal Menu - € 175 per person, excluding drinks - but when Mike explained that Alberta wanted fish and chips with tomato ketchup the maitre d'hotel said 'No problem. We have the finest cod caught this morning and we will make our own tomato ketchup
Although Alberta spilt the ketchup down the front of her new white blouse and on the waiter as well, they enjoyed a lovely meal and discussed Mike's project. The discussion continued afterwards in the Hemingway bar - with wine.
Mike had been impressed by her knowledge and skill with joints and dislocations and wants her to accompany him as his assistant on a tour of inspection of camel racing and camel wrestling in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia with an assessment of the risk to the animals and their riders. Alberta was very enthusiastic and accepted.
But there was a very curious incident. Alberta had noticed a group of men in the bar, one of whom slightly resembled her husband Albert, but he had his back towards her and she could not see him closely.
On leaving the hotel, she thought that she saw the men lift a drain cover and suddenly disappear down the drain. This seems absurd. She must have drunk too much wine! To be continued ...