‘Can you look after our stuff mate?’ You, the pub drinker, nod mid-sentence in your own fantastic conversation as nearby table couple nip off. What for, you vaguely wonder keeping an eye on the toilet stairs. (This occurs in the Crouch End Hogshead). Now I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of the couple, that they had been arguing for an hour or so, and were hogging a four man table in sit-com style: ie leaving a couple of chairs for camera access. No, its more the response to this kind of question. Yes, I will look after your stuff, but like all good club cloakrooms I will take no responsibility for damage or loss.

So we saved the dregs of their drinks from the pot-boy, and no-one half inched her shawl. That said, the pub was full and when another, admittedly friendlier looking couple rocked up we told them that whilst the other two seats were taken, they could quite happily occupy the other half of the table. Its not as if the first couple needed too much privacy, their dirty linen had been aired quite comprehensively. Yet when said couple returned from washing their linen they were rather short with us.

Could I have handled this situation any better? What are my rights? Consumer watchdogs, watch out.