Food by Phone
By LESLIE ADRIAN In London, a typical and easy way is to dial CHICKEN (CHI 2536), the telephone number of Romains who do a home delivery service of cooked meals. CHICKEN is only an easy way to remember the number (and something of a gimmick): when you dial it the call will be in- tercepted and you will be asked to dial one of Romains' two other numbers, HYD 6191 or 2270, where your order will be taken. There is a wide choice on the menu : steak, scampi, lobster, pork cutlets, curry, spaghetti, a choice from a cold buffet, sweets and even sandwiches. Prices are reasonable when you allow for the fact that you must pay something for the convenience of the service.
A hot or cold chicken at 22s. 6d. will be de- livered free within a four-mile radius of Picca- dilly and delivery is also free for any order of 25s. and above. For orders below this you will be charged 3s. 6d. for delivery. Orders from points up to six miles from Piccadilly can be taken but beyond four miles there is a delivery charge of 5s. You should give your order about an hour before you want to eat. Delivery is by scooter and the food is wrapped in aluminium foil and transported in hot boxes. Romains used to have a wine list but this has been discon- tinued. The service operates every day of the yeth. from 10 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.
Other delivery services are provided by Good Catering (KNI 1222) who deliver in Chelsea, South Kensington and Belgravia, minimum charge 15s., delivery charge Is., and by Marcel (BEL 4912) and La Surprise (KEN 0509), two restaurants in Sloane Street and Knightsbridge respectively, who deliver meals from their restaurant menus within two miles of their pre- mises. La Surprise has a two-shilling delivery charge. Both, with twenty-four hours' notice, will send linen, cutlery, flower arrangements and a waiter to serve your meal.
A trap to watch out for is delivery by taxi. Unless you are in a hurry and ask for special delivery by taxi the caterer should use his own transport. I do not recommend the Lotus House (Edgware Road) delivery service. I ordered one of their Chinese meals and it came in the hands of a very small Chinese boy whose taxi-ride from and back to the restaurant cost me 12s. He might have deserved 12s. for his trouble but the Lotus House didn't.
I suggest you ring all the numbers I have given and ask them to send you their menu. You never know when you might need the service—in time of sickness, for the luxury of it or out of sheer laziness.
I'm sure there are plenty of people who would like to go to the United States on holiday and, with the 'Come to the United States' campaign now in progress, there are plenty of organisations. including the Kennedy Administration, trying to make it easier for you. The greatest obstacle is THE SPEf:TATCR. APRIL 28. 1961 the cost of crossing the Atlantic before you even begin your holiday.
An independent American airline (Flying Tiger Line, 168 Regent Street: GER. 3627) has an- nounced a plan whereby it will be possible this Year for you to go to New York and return for as little as £35 8s. This is about £100 cheaper than the cheapest fare on scheduled flights. To get this you must charter a plane from the air- line (it will be a Super Constellation) and find 118 people to fill the seats. These people must all be members of some organisation whose pur- Pose is nor that of getting cheap travelling faci- lities. The airline will send you explanatory notes Which will show you what kind of organisations can qualify.
The major airlines will also arrange charter flights of this sort and the cost will be rather lower than the cost of a regular scheduled flight On the same airline, though not as low as Flying Tiger's offer. If you feel like finding in your club, College, university or school a large number of People who want to go to the States this is cer- taintY a much cheaper way of arranging it than anY other. I just hope you have a good, keen organising secretary who doesn't mind becoming ttemporary travel agent. One consolation for him: getting a visa for a trip to America is now a great deal easier, quicker and less objectionable than it used to be. You won't have to have your fingerprints taken and you are no longer required to sign a declaration that it is not your intention tmtoverthrow the Government of the United States.
• The shops are full of most attractive (and ex- pensive) glazed chinties, a reader tells me. And `4s what has happened to the descendants of j (111, n (.iilpin's old friend the calender Who, 4M()ng other things, could have restored the glaze after washing. The news is bad for spring cleaners with glazed ch,Antzes awaiting restoration. More than a dozen Phone calls tracked down the only dry-cleaner in the` London area, if not in the British Isles, who Wil.l undertake to clean glazed chintz and return ivith the gloss renewed. The Davis Cleaners (headquarters at Southern Row, W10; LADbroke 1212) charge 7s. per square yard for lined cur- tains, 4s. 6d. if they are unlined. But there is a long waiting list almost as difficult to get on as the one for an exclusive club or for an LCC council house. November (yes, this year) would be about the earliest that they could consider new applicants, they told me. The waiting list is closed till then.
You could do it yourself. Mrs. Becton, inevit- ably, has a recipe for glazing, the principal secret of which is elbow grease. Presumably. this is the penalty of preferring traditional materials.