The Surly Northerner vs The Smarmy Southerner

Owners of a tea room in Keswick, Cumbria, which has been criticised for being unfriendly have rejected the criticisms of the southern wusses who posted reviews on Trip Adviser. To be fair these reviewers were probably not generic southerners but effete metrosexual luxury loving leftie luvvies from leafy London suburbs (Wednesday is labials day on Boggart Blog) like Hampstead or Islington.

Owners of The Temporary Measure tea room hit back at the reviewers by saying they only appear grumpy because they are northerners and do not require staff to indulge in that phoney, gushy friendliness London restaurants demand of their staff.

Now come on, let’s get this in perspective, we are talking about Californian falseness here, people gushing friendly to strangers does not come any more naturally to people in the south of England that in the north.

I know plenty of southerners who on being commanded to “enjoy your happy-krappy-mocha-chokka-jabbalokka-latte” by some poor kid with a permagrin have wanted to say “how can anyone enjoy this chemically adulterated shite?”

And I know one inhabitant of Berkshire who on hearing “We hope you enjoyed your lunch at SLOPS” (not the real name of the place) couldn’t take the falseness any more and retorted, “Do you? Do you actually care? Or are you just fishing for a tip. Because I think if you cared you would not work here serving this crap.”

To which the gobsmacked “server” had to reply, “Thank you, have a nice day.”

My bother has a branch of his business in Keswick and I am familiar with The Temporary Measure. It serves tea that tastes like tea, coffee that tastes like coffee and delicious snacks And best of all, staff who don’t treat me as if I am a lifelong friend but do their job politely and efficiently.

I like to be asked “Are you ready to order,” rather than “Have you any emotional problems you’d like to discuss.”

Emma Smalley, who runs the tea room, has defended her business against the criticisms aimed mainly at her brother John,who also works there, saying it is down to him having a typical surly northern demeanour. Cumbrians do. It is because their ancestors spent a few hundred generations out of the fells in freezing winds and pissing rain minding sheep. Samll talk is not their thing.

Emma said 24-year-old John simply does not possess a “sunny disposition” and described him as a moody musician.

“He’s not mean or patronizing or aggressive, he’s just quiet,” she wrote in response to one review. Good for her, if people want to meet Stepford Wives stereotypes they should go to California. You can get your arse kissed there but you can’t get a decent cup of tea.

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2 Responses to “The Surly Northerner vs The Smarmy Southerner”

  1. Athelstan Says:

    Thank God you didn’t single out Ealing.
    You’re right about that Californian bullshit – it just rankles with us earthier Brits.
    Anyway, we here in the south don’t need surly northerners to perpetuate our coffee mornings with misery and gloom – that’s what the Poles are for.

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