Restaurateur condemn's star's review

By Dave GooderhamNEVER one to shy away from controversy, Janet Street-Porter has never been afraid to criticise the great and good.But a visit to Suffolk has left one restaurateur fuming after Ms Street-Porter claimed she had been treated like the “human equivalent of dog poo” and left wanting to “sock the manager in the mouth”.

By Dave Gooderham

NEVER one to shy away from controversy, Janet Street-Porter has never been afraid to criticise the great and good.

But a visit to Suffolk has left one restaurateur fuming after Ms Street-Porter claimed she had been treated like the “human equivalent of dog poo” and left wanting to “sock the manager in the mouth”.

Now bosses at popular French fish restaurant Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds have criticised Ms Street-Porter for the remarks made in her Sunday newspaper column.


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Maison Bleue owner, Reggis Crepy, said he was amazed by the former editor and television presenter's comments, describing them as “vulgar”.

He added: “I was highly disappointed with what she had written and that she was allowed to criticise a member of our staff in a national newspaper.

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“It is highly irrelevant and we have no answers to her column, we just have to take it. Every celebrity likes to have some special statue, but I am not sure if this applies to her.

“I really don't know why she would have written what she did. Her comments seem to come across as a spiteful tantrum because we had not given her preferential treatment.”

Ms Street-Porter visited the restaurant in June after appearing at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, in her one-woman show, All The Rage.

Writing in her newspaper column this month, she recalled: “Arriving on time at a fish restaurant in Bury St Edmunds, I was greeted by a snotty French woman as if I was the human equivalent of dog poo.

“Naturally my table 'wasn't ready' and I would have to wait at the bar, a space about the size of a card table, already heaving with other customers in a holding pattern.

“I had to fold my arms close to my body like a praying mantis while clutching a glass a wine and firmly resist the urge to sock Ms Manager in the mouth.”

The woman at the centre of the storm, manageress Karine Canevet, said she was surprised and upset at Ms Street-Porter's comments.

Mrs Canavet added: “When she arrived, I was not aware who she was. I knew she had performed at the Theatre Royal and I just assumed she was an actress until a customer pointed her out.

“I didn't speak to her too much, I just took her order and asked if everything was fine. She was acting like any other customer, she didn't complain about anything and said she liked the food.

“But when I saw the newspaper article, it was distressing as it was very personal. But I now find it quite amusing.”

Mrs Canavet said Ms Street-Porter and some friends had been told there were no spare tables when she phoned the restaurant, but had turned up anyway and were made to wait at the bar before a table became available.

Mr Crepy, who also owns restaurants in Lavenham and Ipswich, added: “What was annoying is that we are not the type of place where people get into fisticuffs.

“A woman like her should not be looking to take on a woman half her size - it is vulgar.

“The criticism was not about our food and the service, which would have been fair enough, even though we praise ourselves on the quality of our service. This was a personal attack on my manageress - it didn't make sense.”

Mr Crepy, who has written a letter of reply to the newspaper, said he hoped Ms Street-Porter would one day return to his restaurant.

“I would really love her to come back any time and make a proper critique of the restaurant,” he added.

“But only if she feels better and not like the 'human equivalent of dog poo'. And she still would have to make an appointment.”

Ms Street-Porter was not available for comment yesterday.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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