Creating jobs through pleasure

(Webmaster: In this new section we are trying to identify pleasurable activities that also create jobs. Two of our stringers have made this start.)

29jun99: Faxfn Stringers : Let's all go down the Strand

The Salieri Restaurant was the pleasantest we have been to in years. The tables were full but we were sat down next to the musicians, two guitarists, to order. The guitarist played some nice Villa Lobos numbers (and similar) and, unusually, they had the sound balance right: People could talk to each other and still hear the music without being irritated by conversations from other tables.

The temperature was comfortable and the air breathable: no smoke and not too much humidity. The lighting gave a sense of space that concentrated around the table but that sense of space extended across the room to reach the musicians.

We started with the Bollinger and those Champagne bubbles that we thought had a few extra fruitier bubbles in the first glass. (Is this possible?). We ordered salmon and halibut and made a slight fuss about getting some nice vegetables. We both liked the fish. BUT THE VEGETABLES WERE THE BEST EITHER OF US HAD EVER TASTED. They were just just softer than the under-cooked slightly crunchy vegetables that television chefs used to recommend (to preserve the vitamins). They were very slightly oiled, possibly slightly flavoured. But the majority of the taste, we thought, came from the vegetables themselves. Our waiter, Ossy, told us that, after closing, they really do go out to buy the vegetables at the New Covent Garden to choose the best.

We finished with watermelon and pineapple. Just cut into sections and presented nicely and on tray with ice. But they really must have searched New Covent Garden for these. The pineapple was ripened to the minute.

After finishing the bottle and a few other drinks we tried to work out whether life-enhanceing experiences like this created jobs. Did our bill help pay to employ many workers (waiters, chefs, vegetable growers, wine makers, fishermen) or would we create more jobs by buying a new digital television? By the end of the night it was beyond us.

(The rest of this piece is at Testing Kim Swales' prize - webmaster.)