New Tables

22 Dec 2016

I have mentioned in the past the negative comments we encountered when we decided a few years back to take the white cloths off the restaurant tables, and to follow modern trends. Our reasoning for doing so felt valid to us -  we didn't want to appear too formal, and we have been very comfortable with the decision, even though we know that we haven't pleased everyone.

The only slight issue for me personally, around the decision, was the fact that the exposed table tops were made from a laminate that I didn't like. Nasty to touch and imitation in look, they fell far short of the bench mark I would have preferred. Have always known that I wanted to replace them with solid wood, but hadn't quite decided where to go to start looking for someone to make them for us, and was concerned over the number of wooden table tops that I'd seen in other eating establishments that hadn't stood up to the passage of time especially well.

 

So I'd prevaricated and got increasingly annoyed by the chipping that was starting to appear in the laminate of our existing tables, but got precisely nowhere in deciding what I was going to do. Serendipity then played a role, as it does tend too so often in my life.

Dear friends who are part of a family that we very much look on as extended whanau, happened to call in one evening for a catchup chat and mentioned that their old packing shed had been commandeered by one of their sons, and was now the home of Makareti Milling. Thomas and a retired cabinet maker Clive Lee were milling and creating wonderful wooden furniture with Thomas benefitting from Clives years of knowledge and skill, and Clive thriving on Thomas's youthful passion. It appears to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, that has resulted in us having our tables replaced with some beautiful solid wood ones.

( The old version of table 16 being loaded onto Clives ute to be taken away and replaced by something much more beautiful!)

None of the sizing has changed, but the appearance very much has. And they weigh a whole heap more.

Normally we reset the restaurant in it's entirety at the end of each evening, but sometimes over this time of the year when customers often sit later than normal and at larger tables than normal, which is going to mean quite a bit of reconfiguration, we tend to leave the set up to the next day. And that means that a few times I have found it to be me, myself, who is over there doing the set up, and I was just considering the fact the other day, that I'm not finding it a hardship at all, because each time I place cutlery, napkins or glassware on the new tables, I very literally get a frission of pure pleasure from the beauty of the wood - the grain, the care that Clive has taken with the stain finish. To my eyes they are objects of great beauty, and are going to give me much satisfaction for many years to come. Something I'm naturally delighted about.

Have been a little nonplussed by how few people though have noticed them. They've sat down at the table, commenced their meal and been quite oblivious until I've pointed it out to them. ( With a certain amount of grumpiness it must be added!) Maybe its because they're nice, and people just take them in their stride, whereas if something was off, they would be more quick to observe and comment. Maybe that's just a factor of human nature..

But as with so much of what we've done at the restaurant over the years, it has happened because it appeals to us, to our taste, because we're the ones that have to work there day after day, and as long as we're happy and appreciative then it is money well spent!

The only problem I have now, which I knew was going to be an issue the minute we decided to go with a darker colour for the table stain, is that the chairs don't match. So they become the next job for the new year....


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