Use Your Own Brain!

The Art Café, West Mersea

I have been visiting my sister and her family on Mersea Island and very much enjoying the wares of The Art Café; Cinnamon Toast (read about my way of doing it plus other yummy toasts here) and gorgeous coffee for breakfast, for instance …

… interesting and delicious lunches and wonderful breads and cheeses, olives, charcuterie,  chutneys, preserves, homemade cheese straws and other baked goods and so on and so forth from their shop next door; The Cake Hole.

Today I had a wander about the island.  The weather has been fantabulous and I had a great time  …

Even the funerals look tempting!

BUT the day was spoiled for me by an irritation so here is a bit of a rant.


Many, many years ago when the world was young (around the time of the Jurassic) my sister and I and our then-husbands owned a couple of restaurants where we had some original ideas and put them to good use.  Not amazing ideas, just a few “signature dishes” as they are now called and some different ways to promote our businesses.  A dish that springs to mind is “Cornish Rarebit” which was basically crab or crab pâté on toast topped with cheese and grilled.  No big deal, I know, but we had never seen it before but have been seeing it ever since in many restaurants in that part of Cornwall.  It’s years ago, however, that we had that idea and is no problem at all now although a bit of a pisser at the time.  

The second thing that I frequently see ripped off is our Pauper’s Supper.  I well remember the day we invented this because my then-husband woke me up in the middle of the night to say he had a good idea – why not do a cheap 3 course meal on Wednesday evenings to get the punters in?  So we did, called it Pauper’s Supper and on Wednesdays we were packed to capacity ~ we did 3 sittings plus people sometimes ate in their cars.  Now 25 years later in the general location of our restaurants Pauper’s Suppers are still offered on Wednesdays in several eating establishments.  It’s as if Wednesday and the word “Pauper’s” are the only possibilities.  

Why oh why can’t people use their own brains?  I mention all this because  …

The ­Art Café is a bright and sunny place with pine tables and chairs and outside seating serving lovely freshly made interesting breakfasts and lunches, homemade cakes and excellent coffee.  It is called The Art Café because they also display and sell art on the premises

Very nearby, within sandwich lobbing distance, is a pub called the White Hart which most people will have to pass on their way to the Art Café. 

 They have recently opened a café on the premises called The Hart Café presumably in the hope that people will mistake their café for their intended destination and pop in.  For all I know the Hart Café may sell wonderful food and drinks but however good it is they are obviously inept at using their imagination and I think this does them no favours.  Several people in the area have already, in the few days I have been here, told me how irritated they are by this apparent imitation of an established and popular business. 

Their drawing of a cup of coffee is not dissimilar to the Art Café logo (see photo at the start of this rant for comparison), even the steam squiggles are the same! This is surely not a coincidence, in fact the words “blatant plagiarism” spring to mind.

I don’t think the Art Café are very discombobulated by this at all, maybe they are even a bit flattered, but I am a grumpy middle aged lady and it’s really got up my goat!

Anyhoo, sorry about that - get it off my chest and all that!  I shall be going home in a couple of days and back to writing about leftovers as soon as I have some! 

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1 comment:

debs said...

mmmm very annoying!