Culinary no-no #734


Back in 2007 when I was filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN I spent some time discussing an article in the Wall Street Journal headlined “The Great Hotel Cover-Up.” Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Hotels have spent the last decade courting travelers and one-upping each other with plusher, sexier bathrobes. Now, the hard part: convincing guests to wear anything else.

The Ritz-Carlton in Miami’s South Beach has put its employees on alert to keep guests in robes and slippers out of the club lounge on the concierge floor. Management at the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco is instructing its staff not to seat anyone wearing robes in the bar. Staffers at the Four Seasons Punta Mita in Mexico have started offering to fetch clothing for guests if they show up at one of the resort’s restaurants without proper attire.

Hotels that aren’t vigilant risk alienating businesspeople and outside guests who come for power breakfasts or ladies’ lunches, or anyone else who would prefer not to see glimpses of hairy bellies and cellulite. Gerry Hempel Davis was having afternoon tea with her grandson earlier this year at the Homestead, a luxury resort in Hot Springs, Va., when she spotted an “oversized male” traipsing through in flip-flops and a robe, revealing “two inches too many” of his bare legs. “Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but to me that is totally unacceptable — it’s atrocious,” she says. (The Homestead says dress is “resort casual” in the Great Hall, where the tea is served, and that guests in robes are asked to leave.)

The exposure problem is largely the result of the hotel industry’s aggressive push into the spa business. Nearly half of U.S. hotels and resorts now boast spas, up from 25% five years ago, according to Spa Finder, an industry tracker.

Not everyone is ready to diss robes. Lisa Peterson, 46 years old, says the main reason she sports a robe in public is because “it alerts the world that I am in relaxation mode and that I am pampering myself because I believe I’m worth it.” But the communications director for the American Kennel Club, who lives in Newtown, Conn., says it also makes her feel “a little bit naughty.”

For brides who hope to be the only ones in white, getting married at hotels is an increasingly risky proposition. Uninvited robed guests have been spotted among wedding guests in hotels from the Crowne Plaza in Clayton, Mo., to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers. Amy MacNeill, an event planner in Atlanta, says it’s something to consider when choosing locations. At a wedding she put on recently at a small hotel in Roswell, Ga., two hotel guests and their child wandered into the reception’s buffet area in robes — the woman with a towel wrapped around her head — and proceeded to help themselves to food. Luckily, she says, the bride and groom were on the dance floor, oblivious, but the groom’s mother was “a little antsy about the whole thing” and complained to the hotel.

On a recent Thursday morning at the (Beverly Hills) Peninsula, waiter Troy Price watched aghast as a man sauntered past the restaurant in a bathrobe for all the diners to see. Minutes later, as patrons in business suits tucked into stacks of pancakes, another man walked past the restaurant window — in a white robe that barely covered his knees. “I don’t know what the story with that is,” says Mr. Price, who says he refuses to seat people in bathrobes on the few occasions they’ve approached. “It’s not normal.”

Carolyn Spencer, 46, of Pennington N.J. and editor of cruise-review site says, “It’s extremely tacky. I don’t know you; I don’t want to see you in your bathrobe. Most ships are stocking cabins with medium-size bathrobes, but a lot of people in America need more than a medium size.”

We’ve lost civility, being courteous. Proper manners and respect for others have been replaced by a boorish, selfish mentality.

I blame:

The Bubba taught America it was OK to be a slob whenever and wherever you wanted to be.

Ok. The Wall Street article was published in 2007, 15 years ago. But do you honestly believe that behavior has improved? I don’t.

A few weeks ago I was attending a regular Sunday brunch/lich spot when a couple walked in and was seated near me. I’d say they were both on the older register of middle-aged.

The woman was wearing pajamas. The top matched the bottoms and the illustrated print looked like something a child would wear to bed. She looked stupid and totally out of place. Damn that Bill Clinton.

I appreciate blogger Mindi Cherry, mother of three and her complete takedown of PJs in public in a piece circa 2015. She writes:

I mean, I have been known to drive my daughter to the school bus stop in bad weather still wearing them and I have even gone out to a drive-through fast food restaurant wearing them…but never did I get out of the car. Far be it from me to have an opinion and not back it up, so here are five really good reasons people should not wear pajama pants in public:

Pajama pants in public is a major fashion mistake

Pajama pants in public shows …. things

Pajama pants in public is disrespectful

They send the wrong message

You won’t sleep nearly as good that night

She’s absolutely correct.

Read her entire piece, “Why You Need To Stop Wearing Pajama Pants In Public,” here.

“We are continuing, as a culture, on this downward spiral of style.

“I think that there will always be a group of people, a strong percentage of the population, who will care about their appearance. But now we have permission not to care.

“I think that one photograph of one celebrity wearing something (inappropriate) can validate someone. And they will leave the house wearing the same thing.

“It’s very easy in this country to do two things. One: overeat. Two: wear really comfortable clothes. The problem is, when you combine both of those things you get caught in a spiral. I’ve heard this from women time after time: ‘Before you know it, you’ve gained 30 pounds.’ And then you get to a point where it’s hopeless – ‘I can’t lose 30 pounds.’

“You say, ‘Uh, I give up.’ I’ll keep wearing my big comfy pants.’”
Clinton Kelly, TV personality, fashion expert, author


No. Just no.

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One thought on “Culinary no-no #734

  1. Pingback: Culinary no-no #735 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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