STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.
WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility.
Ho hum, another birthday looming, where to go? EaZyD came up with The Capital Restaurant, one of the few top London restaurants we have not been to. He booked lunch, having been told access would be fine.
On a totally pissy day, we parked a few minutes walk away from The Capital. We were both wet and cold as we got to the entrance and saw STEPS! Oh no.
A very sweet and very aged doorman said that this was the only entrance and he would help carry me up the - probably about half a dozen - concrete steps. No, no, no. I have had one experience of falling out of my wheelchair and breaking my leg. There was NO WAY I was risking this in driving rain. ‘Do you not have a ramp?’ we asked. No.
By this time, an impeccably dressed man – the manager – had appeared, demanding to know what the problem was. We explained. ‘We always carry people,’ he said. And you have insurance for that, I asked. No, no, it is at your own risk. Ummmmm, let me see, no, not happy! And a ramp?‘ It would be unsightly, ‘ he said, ‘the Borough of Westminster would not let us do that. It would be a health and safety risk.’
OK, a ramp is dangerous and ugly and against regulations and carrying people in desperate weather conditions up concrete steps without insurance is not? The manager was looking down at us, then up and down the street. He was uncomfortable having this conversation with two dripping, freezing people, one in a wheelchair. 'No-one else has complained,’ he said firmly.
Well, you have got to wonder why, haven’t you? Could it be the unapologetic patronising attitude exuded by this man or just their own (the wheelchair users) lack of desire to spoil an event for their companions by being ‘difficult’? Or that this hotel simply does not welcome wheelchair users so does not get many? Who knows.
We walked away, fuming, with as much dignity as you can muster with water running down your face, hair and body – which is not a lot let me tell you! We dripped into the Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor restaurant, aka Chav Central. We had not been there for a long time and both décor and client profile had changed. No more The Ladies Who Lunch but much more Bling Bling Bling. EaZyD and me, we fit right in, Cool As!