Well, today I went to Za Za Bazaar, on Bristol’s harbourside. 1000-seater restaurant, reputedly Britain’s largest.
As I have today and the next few Mondays off work, I just wanted to do something different, and see what it was like.
It’s like a great big covered market, and it’s supposed to represent street cuisine from around the world. There’s a fixed cover price (not including drinks) and you can wander round all the stalls, and fill your plate as many times as you like, all for the set price (£6.99, on a lunchtime).
Obviously, with it being buffet style, and a lot of walking around, in some ways it’s not that MS friendly. On the other hand, because you can go back as many times as you like, you’re not having to balance teetering trays. You only ever have to carry one plate at once, because the drinks are brought to you at table in the normal way, so you can put as much or as little on your plate as you want, and mix and match anyway you want (so you could have pasta, chips, and curry, if you really wanted).
Although it certainly wouldn’t be my choice for a romantic night out, I thought it was quite fun. The staff seemed smiley and friendly.
A wheelie person went in just ahead of me - they rushed to open the double doors for him, and although it’s all upstairs, there is a lift, so he could get up there alright.
I noticed he did have a friend/carer with him. I probably wouldn’t recommend it without, because although the aisles are quite wide, I think the whole concept of having to go round all the stalls and pick what you want, instead of being waited on, is a little bit impractical for anyone with limited mobility. Would it matter if you’re not able to go round and choose for yourself? Probably not, because there’s such a huge selection anyway, the friend/carer could just go round and pick up plate-loads of everything - you’re not paying any extra - so if you don’t like some of it, there’s nothing lost.
I can’t remember everything I had - I know a lot of it was covered in batter, and very, very bad for me. They also had loads of little bite-sized cakes. Again, as many as you want. You’re only limited by time. They chuck you out after 2 hours, but I’d reached capacity well before that.
I can recommend the “Twisted French Martini” cocktails, which are more expensive than the meal, but taste of raspberry, pineapply, vanilla, and something else (oh yes, booze, of course). Virtually no spasticity after a couple of those (but I did have trouble using the debit card machine…)