Restaurant asks diners to sign legal form before eating traditional Christmas pudding

Monday, 7 December, 2009
Redleaf PR
Diners at a London restaurant owned by Stellenbosch winemakers Gary and Kathy Jordan and former Johannesburg restaurateur Neleen Strauss, are being asked to sign a legal form before they eat its traditional Christmas puddings, just in case they swallow a silver charm by accident.
Neleen, who opened High Timber, a 'wine dining' restaurant in the heart of London's financial centre earlier this year, was warned by some of her regulars customers in the legal profession, that the complex Health and Safety regulations in the UK made serving a traditional pudding with lucky charms practically impossibleā€¦unless diners signed a legal indemnity before tucking in.

(Traditionally in England, small silver charms were baked in the plum pudding. A silver coin would bring wealth in the coming year; a tiny wishbone, good luck; a silver thimble, thrift; an anchor, safe harbour.)

"Yes, it's crazy that we have to do this," said Neleen, "but when you've got half a dozen lawyers who are regular customers looking after your interests, you can't ignore them. I had to take their advice."

"Bureaucrats and pen pushers here seem to spend the whole of the year coming up with ways of how to take fun out of traditional things.

"But if I have to get my customers to sign a form before they eat our delicious Christmas pud, then that's what I'll do. It's good to keep traditions alive, even if we have to jump through hoops to do it."

The form customers have to sign states:

I the undersigned realise that by eating this Christmas Pudding at High Timber restaurant, London, I could bite into a lucky silver sixpence or silver charm.

I absolve entirely High Timber from all blame or liability should I come to any harm including but not limited to a chipped tooth, or any injury as a result of swallowing it.

I eat this Christmas Pudding in the full knowledge there may be silver items within.

Signed.............................................. Print Name..............................