Making a meal out of getting refreshments

“I defy anyone who’s just visited the London Aquarium to go straight out and order a plate of skate and chips” – your Comment on the Aquarium feature (DW 29 August) rang so true.

In fact, I defy anyone visiting the Aquarium to attempt to eat or drink anything for several hours after their arrival.

I took my young son when the attraction first opened. A blustery half-term day loomed and seemed ideal for the purpose. We arrived at Waterloo and floundered in our attempts to find the Aquarium easily (poor signage, obviously).

Having queued for an hour and a quarter, we finally entered the premises at about 1.30pm, rather hungry and thirsty. I purchased our tickets and voted to head for the cafeteria, but Sam wanted a quick look around before sitting down. It certainly never occurred to me we couldn’t go there at will.

After half an hour or so, I asked a security guard to guide me to the café, only to be told I could not eat or drink until my tour had finished. When I pay to enter an entertainment establishment, I do not expect to be told when or how I can eat or drink. I demanded to see a member of the management team and, after quite a wait and strong words, my wishes were granted. It was not easy, however, and I fail to see why families may not take a short break (spending money, of course) in the cafeteria between viewing exhibits.

There was no signage explaining that you had to take The Tour and end up in the cafeteria and shop later. There was hardly an apology when I insisted and the whole exercise took up far too much time and left a poor impression of the day’s outing. Furthermore, the food was hardly the exciting experience we had been promised on the blurb.

Diane Bird

Walton-on-Thames

Surrey KT12 2LU

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