Arrogance lets London’s Beigel shop down

Arrogance lets London’s Beigel shop down

Arrogance lets London's Beigel shop down
The Beigel Shop is a London institution by all accounts. It was established in 1855. I had been to Brick Lane a few times but for some bizarre reason I had never ventured into the Beigel shop. This had to change and there was no better time than on a day that I had two old university mates coming over from Devon and Crawly to spend the week end. We had earlier that day spent a few hours at the Tate Modern, British Film Institute and the National Theatre. Brick Lane and it’s quirky attractions, including the Beigel Shop was meant to be the icing on the cake, the finale to a thoroughly enjoyable day out.
 .
After a rather delicious Mexican street food at street food section of Brick Lane we duly made our way to the Beigel shop. In my excitement I must have forgotten to notice that a rather annoying intrusive lamp pole was in the way of my first photo (above) of the golden yellow and red coloured shop front.
 .
My next photo (below) was to capture the essence of the Beigel shop. The long queue of folks waiting in line some salivating as they looked on expectantly at the bagels no doubt captured what this place was all about. Some were probably regulars waiting for their regular fix, others had just stumbled upon the shop in this most touristy and vibrant area and decided to sample its wares perhaps. Others, I suspect, rather like myself had heard and read about this place, the mother of all Beigel shops and had waltzed in to experience what others had so poetically waxed lyrical about. I have blogged about some of the world’s most famous pastry shops and bakeries – Pasteis de Belem in Portugal, Luini’s in Milan and Hafiz Mustafa 1864 in Istanbul Spring readily to mind. The Beigel shop had the same feel as my friends and I walked in smiling.
 .
Arrogance lets London's Beigel shop down
 .
The next photo (below) showed a glimpse of the “engine room”. Every successful pastry shop and bakery has one, well oiled to churn out thousands of products every day. This is the domain of the tireless and skilful pastry chefs. They tend to hold the secret to the ingredients and methods used.
 .
Arrogance lets London's Beigel shop down
 .
An attempt to capture the counter in its full glory had to be aborted as howls of indignation and rudeness began to shoot into my direction from a rather haughty staff member. I was accosted with the statement “Why are you taking a photo of me?”. A completely understandable question since I figured that a shop this successful with hordes of tourists wanting to tweet and Instagram their “I was there too” photos would grate and irritate the most patient of staff. The click clicks of rather intrusive DSLRs and the photographers constant craving to jostle to find the best angle can be most annoying.
 .
What happened next, however, was not understandable and belonged to the annals and kingdom of “rudedom”. On no less than four occasions and after apologising the first time and putting the camera away I was accosted and felt verbally assaulted as others looked on. My explanation about wanting to write about this great shop, which to my mind, could only give them more publicity was met with “Well even Time Out asks us for permission.” Puffed up pride of the peacock variety and arrogance of success was palpable in that statement. In my determination to make sure my guests did not feel uncomfortable I resisted the temptation to walk out as we ordered three assortments of bagels.
 .
The verdict from them was positive. They loved it! Boys being boys they made a joke out of my predicament and rather unsavoury experience and we all laughed heartily on our way home. In years of blogging this was a first and I took it on the chin like a trooper. Thoughts about the fact that there was a no photography sign in the shop or that my actions were not legal etc had to be banished and relegated to the background for a higher cause. However, such tragically destructive customer service or lack thereof should not go undocumented here. The Beigel shop has been measured once and found wanting. Sadly I will not be spending my hard earned cash in this shop in future, however, that does not mean they don’t bake a mean Beigel!!Arrogance it is said is the camouflage of insecurity. There is more to baking a mean Beigel and truly respectable and confident bakeries and pastry shops have that “something” in abundance.


There are no comments

Add yours