Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tapas Quiz Night, Question #8/?

Question: Which is the ONLY Restaurant in the whole world that serves “Every-Quarter-Hour-Dinner-Specials”?  
Answer: Obviously the Ocean Club's TAPAS BAR at PdL, the ONLY restaurant where so many ONLY things do happen.

On the "Tapas reservation sheets" there’s one thing that stands right out as surplus data: the precision with which the time the guests wished to have their meals is registered.

On the other hand, these documents lack of a piece of information that is usually required for reservations, and that is a contact number.

About the latter, we can be tolerant to its nonexistence, as we’re talking about foreigners in a foreign land, and there are roaming costs associated with the use of cell phones there.

 But this is being really tolerant, because, business wise it makes absolute sense that a restaurant demands some way of contacting whoever that reserves in case they don’t show up.

This contact is usually made under the circumstance of having waiting clients and all other tables are occupied. If you have tables, and a guest doesn't show up, you just have to accept that fact.

Calling him will probably only annoy him, and the chances are that client, already lost for that evening, would be lost for forever. But although the probability of use is almost nil, it's the norm to ask as is any other safeguard of expected minimal use.

And if you do take the McCanns as an example, it seems that with the exception of the evening and late night of May 3rd, they had absolutely no restrictions in using their mobiles in PdL, BEFORE and after Maddie died, so shouldn't have any qualms in leaving their contacts. Not because of money, at least.

You can say that leaving the room number is sufficient, as the OC Reception would then contact the guest at fault.

Is that really practical? Call the reception to pull up the cell phone of the client, have the reception call the client and then call the restaurant to say what the client said... Certainly not as much as asking the person directly for the number. Quick, painless and, most of all, practical.

All in all, it’s just not understandable why on the "Tapas reservation sheets" that we’ve been shown there are no contact numbers. But we’ll pretend it is and move on.

Today, what is important is the precision of time in which the guests made their reservations with.

What's the difference, for any restaurant, to know that a certain person wishes to dine at 20:00, or that she wishes to do so at 20:15 or 20:30? ABSOLUTELY NONE.

Is the table only set 30 seconds before arrival? No, it’s set at the start of the evening.

Does the cook start five minutes before? No. First the guests arrive, and only then do things start at the kitchen. After all, a guest may not arrive at all.

And unless in the reservation is written down which dish chosen, nobody but the guest (each one of them) knows what is desired to eat that particular evening. We haven't seen any such choice in any of these sheets...

That’s why there are appetizers. You arrive, you sit and you chose. And have appetizers (or Tapas) while you wait for the main dish to arrive. If you don't order Tapas, then you just wait.

 Is it because the ice could melt? It could be. I’ve heard so many lame excuses for so many things that I imagine that that could be it. The guests had to give the exact time they wanted to eat to avoid needless ice melting.

 If not for that, then FOR WHAT are the reservation times specified?

Restaurants usually have two servings per meal. You either are able to book for the first serving, or if you’re only able to get a table on the second serving, the person responsible will give you warning such as “we’re only able to accommodate you after 21:00, if that’s alright with you”. It’s implicit that you’ll get a table as soon one other vacates that evening, and you either accept that or you don’t.

The finest restaurants usually have only one serving, as they can’t pressure their clients to leave, they will not risk not being able to sit clients that had reserved. They do charge enough to cover their losses.

Could it be an "obsession" with this precision due to customer demand? A meal just had to be served at EXACTLY the desired time?

We do have an indication, from Tapas bar itself, that the exact arrival time was indeed a completely irrelevant detail, as, at least on May 3rd, the T9 practically only were ready to eat after 21:00, although they booked for 20:30. .  

Nobody complains about this, because there's nothing to complain about.

Nobody notices it, as there's nothing to notice.

Much like there’s no reason to book a meal at an exact time in an evening.

Yet it's something that is demanded, even if not enforced. Customer are fitted into PRECISE "quarter-hour" slots, at least according with the first 3 "Tapas reservation sheets". And who on earth knows at 11:00 if they're having dinner at 19:15, and not at 19:30?

Not even at home.

Whenever Fred asks if dinner will take too long, I politely tell him that it will take only 5 more minutes than it will take him to make it if he started there and then. Maybe that's why he never asks, poor, but dear soul.

Me, when we go out for dinner I just care where we're eating. Somewhere posh always gets my preference. If the person there that's noting the reservations asks "For what time?" my natural reaction is to ask "What's the limitation?".

One reserves for dinner, and that's that. But that's me, and I'm weird as everyone knows.

Dinner out is leisure time, and when I'm in leisure time, I like it to be me who manages my own time, and am not pleased if I'm to be pressured to meet a certain schedule for food.

No way would I ever allow that to happen on holiday.  

A restaurant is NOT a boarding school.

We’ve seen before that it may have been possible for the FICTIONAL character, Arsene Lupin, to have dined Tapas, so, could it be possible also that yet another FICTIONAL character dined there too? I’m talking about Phileas Fogg, of course.

We all know how pressed for time Mr Fogg is known to be.

Looking at the "Tapas reservation sheets", we see that there’s no FOGG mentioned, nor a PASSPARTOUT , so it can only mean that back in October 1872, this gentleman, and his valet, on his way through to the Suez, demanded to have dinner on the quarter of the hour, not a minute after, and with this started a trend in PdL that has upheld to this day, that of specifying the exact minute in which the client wishes to dine.

Unfortunately, for the defenders such theory, according to the charting of Fogg’s trip, he didn’t come anywhere near Portugal:
Jules Verne was French, because if he was a Brit, then a string could be pulled and “someone” could be arranged to “talk” to this author convincing him into changing his novel just to "fit" the events at PdL

The fact that he’s dead since 1905 would certainly be a minor detail that could be easily overcome. If only he wasn’t French

 So we have yet another curiosity that happens ONLY in PdL, which is the time specification, to the quarter of an hour, of restaurant bookings.

And they say that, in Portugal, Entroncamento is where all strange phenomena happen. But that was before Spring 2007.

Did I say "quarter of an hour"?

We do have, at least, one exception and that’s our friend Arsene Lupin/Thomas Cook.

He asked for his meal (never, ever to be billed) 20 minutes after the hour. Not on the hour, not a quarter past or to, not half past, but 20 minutes past.

Devious, devious character isn’t he?

There’s absolutely no reason for these times to appear. For a restaurant it’s completely indifferent if you eat at 20:00 or 21:00 if there are tables available and they can fit you within the same serving. You arrive, you sit, you eat, you pay and you leave, and the time boundaries to do all that are generic as they always should be.

 Do you want to know why these times were used?

Well, who hasn’t seen a crime movie/TV episode where the murderer turns to a bystander and asks “I’m sorry but my watch has just stopped and I have these pills to take, do you happen to know what time it is right now? ”

This will obviously enable the bad guy/gal, the criminal, to have a witness which will later confirm the fake alibi created but that the good guy/gal, the brilliant detective with the title-role, unravels all before the credits start to roll.

In FICTION, that phrase is used, but in REAL LIFE it seems preferable to make up absolutely irrelevant times on absolutely fake reservation sheets.  

Next Post: YOU be a Reservation Manager.


  1. nobody book a table in the restaurant for a subtime that goes so preciselly, to 20 minutes past any hour. very few people book for 15 past.... but that is more normal since we normally break the hours into a set of minutes that make sense in our brain. then, breaking in 15s, in halfs or not breaking at all, is what is normal and common.
    only medical app. break the time in the type of minutes we see in the Tapas sheets. you have app. lasting for 10 minutes, 20, etc. when you book a restaurant, you use round numbers, such 7:00, 7:15 (more rare), or 7:30.
    I have a feeling that these TAPAS SHEET were filled after the Mccann's are delivered their time table of events to the police. I need to have a deep look in their time table to compare with the dine bookings. I always had the impression that the time showing on that sheets was to corroborate the existence of the dinner of may 3 and the presence of the Tapas 9, making sure that the street where Jane Tanner had the sight( used to do the checking) was empty from other guests. In a restaurant that was open up to midnight, is strange not having later bookings on any day.
    The bookings for all other days follow a common procedure in terms of time with intervals of 15 minutes. Only Tcook seems out of the pile with 7:20. Was it because on that day, MW realised already that the all mess involves only his guests and to divide responsiblities, TCook was added to the dinners list? A red light for TCook to keep his mouth closed and leave the mccann's drive the carriage?
    As one of the T7 said on the emails exchanged with PJ while ruinning the Reconstruction "NOTHING ON THIS CASE IS STRAIGHTFORWARD". Wonder why that was said.

  2. I have never known a restaurant that TELLS its customers to fit neatly into time slots unless it's nearly fully booked and they have a lull at a certain time which is usually very late.

    At my favourite restaurant a table can be booked but it's not expected because the turnaround time is quick, it's that type of restaurant. If I go with a group of friends we sit in the reception area, order a drink and look at the menu. As soon as a table becomes available the first party waiting are seated. If the party who has booked a table doesn't arrive on time their reserved table is given away. If they do arrive late then the penalty is they wait in the queue like everyone else. The restaurant doesn't even bother to phone them because they know they can fill the table from the people waiting in the queue. I often wonder why they bother to take a phone number.

    There is nothing to stop diners all booking at the same time if the tables don't have to be used twice. As Textusa has already shown us there were plenty of tables and even one to spare.

    But why at the Tapas ONLY Mark Warner customers for 3 nights up to 3rd May? What about Thomas Cook guests and Jonathan Markson guests? Not to mention visitors who had booked direct from owners and who would be most likely to visit the nearest restaurant.

    These lists are far too organised to be credible, maybe the names were not intended to be used for booking a meal but ended up as such for another reason.

    Anyway I don't believe the Tapas took dinner bookings. It was a day time bar to cater for customers sitting around the pool.

  3. It's just staggering the amount of information pointing clearly to a collective effort to cover up something that happened to Maddie McCann.
    We've returned to the Middle Ages indeed. There's Justice only for those unable to fiddle with justice. I think someone has mentioned already this here but this reminds of the poor being hanged because they poached on the nobility's hunting grounds. If we "hunt", we get punished, but if they do the same, not only are they doing what's their "divine" right, as they fill their bellies laughing in our faces. My only consolation is that, like the rich did then, they'll suffer from crippling gout, whatever form that disease will take these days. What hurts even more, as a commoner, is that all this is inflicted by a couple of doctors who merit being celebrities as much as any of Big Brother contestants.

  4. na noite de Quinta Feira nao foi so madeleine quem desapareceu, tambem desapareceu o papel onde se registavam os jantares no Tapas. OS papeis onde estao registados os jantares a partir de dia 4 sao claramente diferentes dos anteriores. porque mudaram o papel?

  5. Outro que mentiu- Jeremy Wilkins

    Confrontando o depoimento que prestou a policia com os documentos disponiveis nas files da PJ ( note-se que foi ele quem contactou a policia para depor, logo ai um grande HUMMMM!):

    JW:..." I was with my wife Bridget O'Donnell, my daughter Orly, who is three (3) and Arlo, my son who is eight (8) months." Orly deveria estar na mesma sala da creche em que estava maddie porque eram da mesma idade. Nos registos da creche( Madeleine) nao ha nenhuma Orly. Nos registos relacionados com os gemeos, ha Otis (podia a Nannie ter-se enganado no spelling todos os Dias(?) mas a assinatura de quem deposita e levanta a crianca nao coincide com JW ou O'Donnel. Portanto Otis e Orly sao diferentes criancas.
    JW:..." On Tuesday, 1st May, 2007 we(Gerry e JW) again had a tennis lesson together. After the lessons, this time we had a game of doubles together with two friends of his...After the game we walked together with a third male called Russell or Matt, to pick the children up from the Mini-Club. This is a Creche provided by the holiday company." Aquino JW da indicacao de que tambem tem a filha na creche. Entao porque nao consta dos registos?
    JW:"...We would take them there at 9 am ('!) every day, until 12:30pm. ( portanto era gerry e jw quem levavam e traziam as criancas da creche e nao Kate)I realized that Jerry had three (3) children). A girl called Madeleine and 2 twins who were about two years of age. Madeleine was about three (3). This club would take threes (3) to five (5) years old. The Club was split into two (2) groups: the Sharks and the Lobsters. My son was in the Sharks group.
    I believe that Madeleine was in the Lobsters. ( grande confusao de JW. Afinal quem tem 3 anos, a filha ou o filho? Mesmo que fosse o filho Arlo, tambem nao consta dos registos da creche. Uma testemunha nao pode cometer uma confusao destas num depoimento policial a nao ser que seja deliberado e se o foi, tem de ser retiradas conclusoes). Cont

  6. Cont:
    JW:..."On Wednesday, 2nd May, I could see it was raining and the tennis lesson was postponed. It was re-scheduled for 2:30 pm....I saw the usual people..." Gerry nao fala da Chuva nem do adiamento da licao de tenis.
    ..."that evening (2 may) myself and my partner attended the 'Tapas' restaurant which is part of the hotel complex at the swimming pool. We sat down to eat at 7:30 pm. After about forty five (45) minutes Jerry appeared as did one of his friends. I believe it was Russell. They sat at the next table. We naturally engaged in conversation about everyday things. We spoke about childcare. That night my family were using the creche's facility. We found out that the group of families were occupying ground floor flats near
    the swimming pool and they were leaving the children by themselves in order for them to go to the restaurant in the evenings. They would then go regularly to check the children who would be asleep." Interessante, Gerry e os restantes Tapas que nessa noite tinha reserva para as 8:30 , chegou segundo JW, as 8:15. Mas o mais interessante e o que JW diz sobre a conversa entre as duas mesas ' childcare' mostrando que ness a note, Gerry e outro Tapas 7 comentaram alto no restaurante, que deixavam as criancas sozinhas nos apartmentos. Isto Frits por terra a tentativa de Kate implicar os empregados quando no livro fall sobre o comentario que Tera feito na piscina quando reservou a Mesa.
    JW: ...' We received a call from the creche informing that our son was awake. ' mostrando que na creche as criancas podiam dormir portanto Gerry usou uma desculpa ridicula quando justificou as criancas nos apartamentos, tambem com o habito dos ingleses deitarem cede as criancas.
    JW:"On Thursday, 3rd May 2007, at 10 am I went to tennis lesson as usual and Jerry was there and a female...At 12:30 pm we went fetch the little boy from the creche as usual( continuam a nao constar da creche as duas criancas)..." I left about 8:15 to 8:30 pm. I was pushing the pram around the complex and went to the toilet near the bar... " pela hora deveria ter-se cruzado com varios Tapas 9 a caminho do jantar. Interessante que JW que descreve com tanta precisao a hora a que sai, omite a hora a que Volta, mas sera que levou 1 hora a adormecer o filho porque Gerry diz que foi ao apartmento depois das 21h.
    ...."He said that as he was staying two weeks (Gerry) XXXXX he was staying one night' (unreadable)...." esta e uma surpresa. Entao as ferias de Gerry nao terminavam dia 5? Porque e que diz a JW que vai ficar 2 semanas? Ja havia algo que o obrigava a ficar mais tempo? Nao era o rapto, do qual ainda nao tinha conhecimento, concerteza.


  7. Now I understand why PJ called Jeremy Wilkins to come with Tapas 9 for the reconstruction. His character cannot be played by an actor. He could be much more then the unlucky person on the wrong place at the wrong time. All characters dragged into the saga, by the Tapas 9, have important information to solve the case. Are part of the cover up. The story lies on the trio : Tapas 9, creche and MW.

  8. Nobody can be absolutely sure that one of the resort employees does not came forward and confirm that a child has die in 2007.

    As time went on people came down to Earth and realize there is no obligation in carrying this burst in their chest forever! The truth releases the sinner!

    As time goes bye this probability increases because innocent people that was under a huge pressure to keep the month shut (even if they didn't see much but suspect enough) are now free to think clearly and put things in perspective.

    Most of innocent people caught in this disaster are mainly decent and honest persons. They kept silence because they were in shock and afraid of police consequences for not acting in real time. But how could they?

    I'm sure the police and court will be fair with those that feel, finally, free to tell the truth and somehow readjust old and bad attitudes and memories with a second chance in life. All of them deserves a second chance!

    In summary and against all odds there is more danger nowadays for the couple than in early 2007 and 2008. And they do absolutely know this. That's why they keep filling the Fund (expecting the worse!).

    Some say body might be in UK already, my gut tells me: never left PdL.

    But that is only me.... what do I know?

  9. Anon Sep 22, 2011 5:34:00 PM, this story doesn't lie on the trio you refer: Tapas 9, creche and MW (you're leaving out guests and ex-pats?).
    It doesn't even lie on where Maddie's body may be, if it even exists by now.
    I don't even think it lies with the SY.
    I think it lies in a very precise location: No 10, Downing Street.

  10. When reading this account of the times it seemed to suggest to me either Dental appointments or as a previous post suggest a Doctor's surgery. In each case you have an appointment time but are very rarely "seen" at that time. It's not relevant in a restaurant naturally because as you say, the table is booked for the night. It would be very uncomfortable indeed if you were sitting at the table and the next people arrived. Would you "bolt" your food or tend to leave it uneaten.

    So whoever drew up this Booking sheet previously worked in a Doctor's surgery or a Dental surgery.

    I know which one it is.


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