On the way back from said dash to emergency health centre, Michael suddenly decided he was hungry, and “fancied fish and chips” … Major bowel surgery has only affected his appetite in that everything tastes wonderful!
So, as I am temporarily indulging his every whim, we called at the Olympus Fish restaurant in Bolton town centre. (note the word temporary)
Sadly Bolton town centre is a desert of closed businesses, pawn shops and charity shops. This once vibrant centre of commerce has been devastated by the recession, out of town retail parks and not helped by the local Councils insistence on contracting out the parking concessions to aggressive companies who’s remit seems to be to make money out of innocent motorists.
These companies seem to employ very shady practises, their wardens appear to be waiting around corners to slap tickets on the cars of hapless motorists who dare be a minute late, or park their tyres touching the white line of the bay, or even worse park in bays where the line is so faded you can’t see it. ( which I suspect they deliberately do not repaint in order to catch the motorist)
We have been given parking tickets whilst queuing up at the ticket machine. The first time we were told we shouldn’t have gone to the machine at the far end of the small car park so it was our fault! ( there was a bigger queue at the nearest one)
It took three months for us to get that ever increasing fine squashed on that particular occasion!
So now we try to avoid Bolton and shop at the nearby, and equidistant, Bury town centre, where the parking wardens are motorist friendly, the parking charges reasonable and the shops are decent.
But I digress…rant over.
An oasis in this retail desert is the Olympus” “chippie” Chippie (slang for chip shop) being a misnomer for this place. This, Greek Cypriot, family run business, has been in Bolton for years, well before the demise of the town. Tassos, the son and Manager has struggled to keep his business going through the recent bad times.
Not only do they have very high standards for their food, but the staff are also trained to a high standard of customer service. It is so refreshing to be greeted at the door, addressed as “sir” or “madam” shown respectfully to a table by pleasant, clean and smart staff. Who then bring your food in an unobtrusive manner. In fact the only comparable pace I can think of is George V in Paris.
Tassos has spent a lot of money in the past few years, extending and creating an airy ” Orangerie” at the rear. He installed a beautifully toned grand piano and regularly has a pianist playing. With it’s arched windows, chandeliers, calm decor, leafy plants and beutiful pictures, it is a delight to dine here.
On this particular day we were delighted to find a jazz band playing to the lunchtime crowd. The standard of the musicians was excellent so we sat and enjoyed our fish chips and mushy peas, whilst being entertained by the great America song book. Risking our financial future, as we had a two hour parking ticket on nearby Morrisons car park.
However the next morning we discovered that Michaels newly fashioned bowel did not like mushy peas!!
A year ago we were at the Opera in Estonia.