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London Eye  - Difficult - Lesson 1

Dialogue 1

Dialogue 1 - London Eye – Difficult
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- Would you mind if I join you?
- No, not at all.
- Thank you.
- I'm awfully sorry, but it seems you’ve put your chair on my coat.
- Oh my! I'm so sorry! Oh... I do apologize!
- No-no, you're alright. It's my fault. I shouldn't have hung it on the back of my chair.
- They really should have coat hangers...
- Oh yeah, shouldn’t they?.. The artist is brilliant, though! He did a crying angel on my left buttock last year. Would you like to take a look?
- Oh, I’m fine, thank you. That's really not necessary. But thanks anyway. 


Melanie Sykes: Now according to research, more and more of us are eating out in restaurants despite the recession, but does that mean our table manners are any good? Here’s a perfect dining companion, etiquette expert William Hanson.

Gino D’Acampo: Here he comes again.

Mel: Welcome back!

William Hanson: Hello again.

Gino: How do you do?

William: Excellent, very good.

Mel: He always gets so nervous when you are coming.

Gino: I’ve been nervous all day. As soon as I see your name, I freak out.

Mel: So, as a nation, have we got good manners when we’re eating and we’re dining?

William: Well, we seem to have lost them now.

Mel: Really?William: We’re not eating at a proper table anymore because our lifestyles have changed, and so we are not practising good

table manners, and hopefully after this item we’ll all be eating perfectly.

Mel: Okay, all right, shall we sit?

William: Yes, let’s sit.

Mel: So, this is our restaurant… Thanks, darling, oh, gosh… Cheers!

Gino: You look beautiful today, by the way.

Mel: Thank you.

Gino: Thank you for inviting me for lunch.

Mel: You caught my hair!

Gino: Not a good start!

Waiter: Your menu, madam.  

Mel: Oh, thank you very much!

Gino: Oh, thank you!

Mel: ...a bald patch!

Gino: I’m sorry, darling!

Mel: So, you’ve invited me…

Gino: Is that okay, I mean, it’s an accident?

William: Thankfully, when you normally go out to a restaurant, you don’t normally wear a microphone.

Mel: You’ve invited us for lunch…

William: Yes.

Mel: Who will be paying the bill, first of all?

William: Well, if I have invited you, then generally I will be paying the bill.

Mel: So that gives us…

Gino: Oh, good, so we can order…

Mel: … we can order what we want.

William: No, not necessarily. You should listen to what I’m saying. So if I open the menu and I’m saying “Oh, you know, the lobster looks lovely”, then I’m sort of saying: “Well, order what you like…”

Mel: Is that right?

William: Whereas if I’m saying: “I think I might just have a salad…”
Gino:  I’ve made a willy with my table cloth. Look!

Mel: Oh, no.

Gino: Just because… To light it up a little… Can we get somebody… Eh, hello! How are you, bella? Everything okay?

Waitress: Yes, yes, sir.

Mel: Is that how you call a waitress to the table? Hey, bella!?

William: Not necessarily. It depends on sort of.. We’re in quite a formal restaurant here today. So, again, you’re behaving slightly more formal. So, maybe not “Hi, Bella”.

Waitress: Soup is leek and potato.

Mel: Yeah, that’s lovely.

William: What are you having, Gino?

Gino: I’m going to have a steak.

Waitress: Yes, sir.

Gino: With the mashed potatoes on the side.

Waitress: ...on the side.

Gino: Yes. And peas.

Waitress: Peas? Would you like bearnaise sauce with it?

Gino: Yes, please.

William: And I’ll have the same as Gino.

Waitress: You will have the same. Oh, lovely.

Gino: And my steak… medium rare.

Waitress: Medium rare.

Gino: Yes. What kind of steak is it?

Waitress: Rib eye.

Mel: Okay, so we’ve got bread rolls now. I don’t know. I usually just crack it open with my hands and put the butter on but I know you’ve got a knife. Are you supposed to cut it?

William: Yeah, what you do is correct. You should break bread. We break bread - and this goes back into the times… in medieval times when men would… they knife they’d be using  was their dagger that they would have gone out hunting and gathering with. And so that may have traces of blood on. And so we’d be fine to use that on the meat,  but not on the bread.

Mel: Oooh, gosh!

William: You break bread with your hands. So, you’ve heard of the expression “to break bread with friends” - that’s what we’re doing.

Gino: I knew that!

William: Excellent, now elbow off the table.

Gino: I knew that. Jesus did that the first time, remember, with the apostools?

Mel: With the apostools?

Gino: What are they called?

Mel: Apostles.

Gino: Apostles. He broke the bread.

William: He did.

Mel: Now, in some restaurants there’s no side plate on the.. on the…

William: Well, they’ll be French or Russian restaurants, actually, ‘cause they had it in France, when the revolution, when the… Oh, that looks lovely! ...the peasants who took over didn’t like the signs of decadence, and so they went around smashing… Thank you very much! ... plates and everything. That’s why… Gino! I don’t really think you can do that! You can’t… Right. You just wait. Now, Mel, you’ve got a lovely soup there  

Mel: I have, yes.

Gino: It’s good, by the way.

William: The soup spoon is this one.

Gino: Oh, is that right?

Mel: All right, thanks. The soup, yes?
William: And we scoop away from the nose, scoop away.

Mel: Yeah, I did know that actually, put it away from yourself. Why do we do it?

William: Because soup spoons in the days of Downton Abbey used to be huge, what we would call a tablespoon now. And you couldn’t actually put it into your mouth like that, so you had to consume it that way… Oh my word! No, no.

Gino: What’s happening?

William: You’re having sauce with the steak there, I suppose, or the other way round?

Gino: That’s the way I like it! Actually… how do you say?

William: Excuse me.

Gino: Excuse me! Ketchup! Just in case, I like a little bit of ketchup on the side. I like the ketchup with the mashed potatoes.

Mel: You don’t use the spoon to eat your peas. How are we supposed to eat peas?

William: Right, this is how you eat peas...

Gino: First of all, the spoon is much easier because it goes into the spoon and you shove it in.

William: Don’t talk with your mouth open… Thank you very much, thank you. Then we push the peas onto.. with the back of our knife we push them on and eat.

Mel: Really?

William: What we do not do is then do this, when our elbows go out and we hit the person we’re sitting next to. The fork always has to with the tines facing downwards.

Gino: So, by the time we finish the peas my steak is cold, the mashed potatoes are going to be freezing, because one by one, the way you do it…

William: No, because also you’ve got the mashed potatoes, so you could use that as a bit of glue, so you…

Gino: Very good!

Mel: What about steak? Is there any etiquette to eat steak?

William: You can’t…

Gino: Oh, god! Am I doing right?
William: No! Actually, how you’ve put your cutlery there is actually what they do in France. And we’re actually in Britain, we would do this, we would have the fork resting over the knife to show we’re not using the knife as a weapon. Actually.

Gino: All right. I have no intentions to use the knife as a weapon, by the way. It was only for the meat.

William: Yes, but you can’t be trusted.

Gino: So, can I carry on?

William: Yes, but with the bearnaise sauce - you were going to have some - you would pour a little bit on the side. Not a whole, sort of, lake there on the side.

(phone rings)

Gino (taking the phone): Mamma! (William grabs the phone). It’s my mum!

William: Your phone should be switched off!

Gino: It was my mother!

William: If I say that again, I will be very annoyed.

Mel: So, no taking calls, no texting and tweeting, presumably? Just put your phone…

William: To enjoy lunch or dinner, whatever happens, with the people here!

Gino: I’m not enjoying it! I wanna talk with my mum! When my mum is calling me it’s more important than how you take the peas!

Mel: Just a very important question is if you’ve not enjoyed your food, when is the best time to complain about it - during lunch or dinner, because it’s a bit of a scary thing to do, or at the end before you pay the bill?

William: Well, if there’s any wrong immediately with the steak,  I would say before actually eating the whole thing. If you eat the whole thing, you’ve sort of liked it. If there was a problem with the service, complain at the end.

Gino: There was no problem with the service!

Mel: William Hansen, everybody!

William: Thank you!.

English Tea by Paul McCartney

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