Service industry my foot! Visit Scotland but not this joint in East Lothian.

No rolls and you're not getting any bread. Service without a smile.

God I love Scotland and most of the time I am the proudest Scot of all but occasionally, today being one, I am horrified at the service our lovely country deems fit to offer visitors and locals alike.

In East Lothian today I took my Mum for lunch. We’d heard good things about Konditerei in Gullane so off we went. It  certainly looks the part we agreed as we sat down. It was 12.50. After a look at the menu and a few minutes passed  I approached the counter.

‘It’s table service’ barked the woman behind. OK I smiled thanks and sat down

Another 5 minutes went by when a young girl came up.

‘What would you like?’

2 sandwiches with salami and cheese please.

‘We’ve no rolls left’.


‘We’ve no rolls left.’ (just a recap – it’s before 1pm on a sunny Saturday lunchtime)

Oh Ok, have you got any bread?

‘Well yes.’

Well bread would be fine thanks.

‘But you can’t have bread, we only give sliced bread with soup.’

So we can’t have any salami and cheese in bread then.



She shuffled off and we looked at each other. WHAT?

Definition of Konditerei : Konditorei is the German word for a confectionery shop. A Konditorei typically offers a wide variety of pastries and is like a little café.

Not in this case it seems. A cafe that runs out of rolls at 12.50pm on a Saturday lunch time. Of course there was bread but we weren’t allowed to have that.

So we left the building  and the urge to do anything other than tell people to steer well clear. Konditerei my arse.

I do love a happy ending though. Off we went hungry and irritated to Merry Hatton Garden Centre where we had the best chicken and tarragon soup I have ever tasted.  Real chicken stock was the deep, flavoursome base of this wonderful  home made soup  with a huge sandwich of tuna mayonnaise on the side.  It’s got a great shop, planty bit and is the perfect place to  hide from the cold wind whipping round East Fortune Market  on a Sunday or even just to restore your faith in the service industry.  If you have been somewhere that makes you cringe and your visitors flag down the nearest taxi to take them to the station you could do a lot worse than take them here as going by our experience today they would be guaranteed to leave with a smile on their face,a big full tummy and a half dozen pansies to boot.


Writer & broadcaster.

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