Less than Welcome at the Lychee Garden

Visited the Lychee Garden restaurant, Hagley Road, Birmingham, on Saturday evening for a friend’s birthday. The food was very good, but not exceptional by any means, but an incident that occurred whilst we were there has ensured that I for one won’t be going back there.

We were a group of 13, the majority of us are blind or partially sighted. Prior to the visit, one of our friends who booked it was contacted and was asked if we’d like their party room downstairs. She said that she would so that is what we were expecting.

When we arrived, we were seated at the first table inside the door, right next to the main walkway in and out of the restaurant. My partner, and one of our friends, who are both slightly larger than average, were sitting with their backs to the walkway. Before they’d even had the chance to get settled, the restaurant owner was asking them to sit somewhere else, and physically trying to move them by holding their arms. I’m convinced that they’d not have done this if the two people concerned had been sighted. Our friend moved and sat at the far end of the table where she didn’t want to be, and in the process was made to feel singled out which upset her to the point where she was in tears. My partner just looked the guy in the eye and refused to move.

The meal passed without event and was enjoyable. At the end of the evening, my friend who’d made the booking approached the restaurant owner and suggested that it wasn’t acceptable that our friend had been made to feel so upset. The owner however wasn’t at all perturbed and said he’d had to move her on account of her being large. We of course were not happy about this and said that if we’d been seated in the party room which we’d been offered, this situation would never have arisen. We were then told that we couldn’t have sat there because there were narrow stairs to get down there. Assumptions all the way that we’d not have been able to manage.

After a fairly heated exchange, we said that we wouldn’t be returning, and the owner said that he wasn’t bothered.

So, for information, the Lychee Garden is on Hagley Road, Birmingham. Web site:

If you are disabled, or differ in size from average and fancy being insulted and patronised, why not pop along there for an evening of entertainment!

If like me you prefer to be treated with courtesy, I’m sure there are many other cantonese restaurants in the area much more deserving of your custom.


About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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One Response to Less than Welcome at the Lychee Garden

  1. wow that’s disgusting. that’s discrimination. could you take the matter higher? even above the owner of the restaurant? hugs.

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