Carriages brasserie is a curious place. Run by the national Trust it was a sweltering day over the bank holiday weekend when we arrived for Sunday lunch. You might have expected the huge patio doors which run the length of the Brasserie might have been flung open to allow a sense of alfresco dining but alas they remained firmly closed and as we along with one other table were the only diners, it made for a strange atmosphere inside.
The Sunday roast was the usual beef and Yorkshire pudding plus roast potatoes etc. One of our party who doesn't eat meat opted for the Caesar salad with a side order of olives. The main reason for coming here was to try the organic vegetables which are grown on site and were supposedly something of a specialty.
I mention this not because there was anything particular wrong with any of the food, maybe the veggies were overcooked but moreover because of what happened when we asked for some olive oil for the veggies. An innocent request or so we thought. The waitress rolled her eyes in an apologetic manner but informed us that it was against National Trust policy to serve olive oil in the dining hall.
Pardon? It was explained thus: As we are a charity and non for profit (?) we cannot serve you olive oil as it is not sourced locally. But she did concede that neither was the beef which was very good from a town further afield.
We wanted to point that the olives were not locally produced, nor the anchovies in the salad, or the peppers or the lemonade we drank nor for that matter the water but thought better of it.
having come across the foibles of the National Trust before, this really didn't come as a great surprise but did make all of us wonder at the bureaucratic nature of the trust.
Can't fault the staff, they were just following orders.
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