‘I’d rather just go upstairs and work.’ Well that’s too bad, Dan from the Southampton branch of Greggs. Because it’s Red Nose Day. And that means that you have no choice but to don a wig and costume and serve the public while both looking and feeling like a prize tit. It’s the worst case of enforced workplace jollity we’ve seen since ‘The Office’. And at least that had the excuse of being fictional.
It’s a scene that rather encapsulates the problem with this documentary series. ‘Greggs: More than Meats the Pie’ is desperate to have its Belgian bun and eat it. It’s keen to stress the reach and financial heft of the business. But it trades on bathos too: the idea that there’s something intrinsically amusing about the brand and its products.
Still, it’s jolly enough; tonight, the ladies of Gateshead Greggs make a naked calender while their engaging London sister-in-barms Claudette dismisses the idea of doing something similar (‘You’re trying to raise money, right?’). Whether it can sustain eight episodes remains to be seen, however…
Searcys at The Gherkin
This Searcys on the thirty-ninth floor of 30 St Mary Axe, other wise known as The Gherkin, isn't exactly short of views. The tables run right around the venue, so every seat is a window seat overlooking the Thames and the cityscape. Executive chef Barry Tonks compiles seasonal menus with classic European dishes. Think stone bass and squid ink risotto, pumpkin raviolini, and seared tuna with pineapple and pickled mooli. Plus some delightful desserts that include apple tart tatin, baba au rum and peanut parfait with salted caramel and chocolate sorbet. Wines come from France, Chile, Austria, Italy and Argentina. Searcys Champagne expertise comes in handy for the Champers picks, and an intriguing range of cocktails are worth a perusal.
Venue says: “Join us on the floor 40 for our summer pop-up, Seaside in the Sky. A seaside menu with a twist, and drinks by Nyetimber and Plymouth Gin.”