As some readers may have noticed, I am a fan of the g Hotel; I am not saying staff do everything better than everyone else, however they do a lot of things excellently. It still has the reputation for being expensive and indeed some items like the champagne afternoon tea are, but then again it is a special occasional treat and you pay for the ambience and service.
The snacks that are served in the bar area and grand salon (the room with the hundreds of silver light shades ) have been very popular, especially the fish and chips and the gourmet burger. The g Hotel has now really livened things up with two fantastic lunchtime deals available Monday to Friday from 12 noon to 5pm. The sum of €9.50 will get you a bowl of soup, such as red pepper or cream of asparagus, a traditional style sandwich such as goats cheese, rocket with basil pesto, or ham and cheese, plus tea or coffee. For the same price you could have a main course of the day plus tea or coffee. The day I was there I had crab risotto and it was perfect. It is nice to be able to have something a bit different at lunchtime without breaking the bank. The aim of the waiting staff is to have you in and out in 45 minutes for those on work lunch breaks, or you can lounge there as long as you like. Why not treat a friend and book a lunch at one of the tables in the grand salon, as in the picture. For less than €20 two people can have what is on that table. I do not suppose the g Hotel is making any major profit on this but that’s not our worry and I for one will certainly be calling in.
So as you can see it is well worth shopping around for bargains and don’t be put off by the fact that an establishment seems posh; these are often the places you will find the best bargains. Shopping around should not be confined to restaurants. Keep an eye on the menu at fast food places and if you are shopping for you and the kids on a budget tell them how much they are allowed to spend before they go in. It is far too easy to be lured in by that single great value item and then everyone orders from the big board and you end up paying more than you would in a proper sit down restaurant. Just the other day I was in a food court and had a look at the Pizza Hut and KFC prices, it is not cheap, in fact it is very expensive. Two people could have lunch at the g for less than the price of a large pizza!
One of the downsides of fast foods is just that — it is fast. Your body normally takes about 15 minutes to feel the effect of eating food, so taking your time is very important. A really good bowl of homemade soup with homemade brown bread might be a far better option than chips and a burger. It is also worth noting what percentage of your bill is spent on fizzy drinks or bottled water. These are all simply a waste of hard earned dosh. Time and time again we are assured that the quality of most of our tap water is better than many bottled waters, so why waste up to 25 per cent of your bill when you can maybe use that money for a delicious dessert? I never order bottled water and if any restaurant dared to suggest that their tap water was not up to scratch I would leave. Last week, while I was having lunch in an excellent French restaurant on Stephen’s Green, I was asked if I wanted a bottle of tap water and was presented with a 1 litre designer bottle of chilled tap water. Well done to La Mere Zou.
Finally, my tip for the week if you like rocket. Buy a packed of seeds and sow them anywhere, in a pot, the backyard, a tunnel — it grows as fast as the name implies. I estimate that the equivalent of a €1 bunch in a shop will cost you less than one cent.
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