My Letter to the Lychee Garden

Posting this here for no other reason than I rather liked the letter and want to keep it!

Dear Mr Tse

I am writing directly to you as the named restaurant owner on your web site. I am also assuming that it was you who I met on Saturday evening when visiting your restaurant with a group of friends. I realise that it is dangerous to make assumptions, but the whole situation on Saturday could have so easily been avoided had assumptions not been made.

A group of us visited your restaurant on Saturday evening, many of us are blind or partially sighted. I am sure you are aware of the situation of which I am writing and I will therefore not outline it in detail again as I know some of my friends have already been in touch.

I would, however, like to make the following points and look forward to receiving your response.

Our booking was originally for 15 people and for this reason we were offered the party room downstairs which seemed an excellent suggestion which my friend who made the booking accepted.

The first assumption made by yourself and possibly your staff was that as a group we would not be able to manage the stairs to the party room. As blind people we face many barriers in life, most of which are put up by people like yourself who tell us what we can and can’t manage, without actually communicating with us and finding out.

We were therefore seated at what I felt was a very inappropriate table for several reasons. It was close to the door, close to the bar and right on a main thoroughfare in and out of the restaurant. The restaurant wasn’t so busy that we couldn’t have been placed at a better table further into the room.

The second assumption made, was that it doesn’t really matter who sits where at a table so long as it suits the restaurant owner. I’m sure you realise that in big groups there are always preferences as to who sits with who and telling people where to sit therefore affects the group dynamics. Our friend who was made to move and was upset was moved to the end of the table where she didn’t want to be. Had my partner not refused to move, him and I would have not been able to sit together which is not what we wanted.

In summary, we felt very pushed around and unimportant, especially when we mentioned it at the end of the evening and were constantly shouted down. Had it not been for the extreme courteousness of your manager, we’d have left a lot earlier in the evening.

I for one am surprised that you can take £300 from a group then tell them you won’t be sorry if they don’t come back, simply for stating that we don’t appreciate being pushed around. I realise that you have been running as a business since 1969 but that reputation won’t help you if you’re constantly turning people away.

Good luck to you Mr Tse. I for one won’t be recommending your restaurant and will be reviewing it truthfully where I can.


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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