We went out to dinner last night. Not a cheap one, over £50 a head for two courses and wine. My rump steak turned up on a wooden board, with my chips (all nine of them...) in a little galvanised steel bucket. My dessert (a really nice raspberry parfait with a small quenelle of basil ice cream) was served on a small piece of slate. Plates have been in use for years - they are easily washed, thus hygienic and easy to store, not to say easy to eat from. why change now? Neither a chopping board nor a bit of roofing tile has the necessary concavity to contain even the slightest dribble of sauce or meat juice or indeed a melted pool of ice cream, as the waiter found to his cost when he came to clear. And chips in a bucket? Buckets are for mopping floors and slopping out. I have decided in future that if my food is served on such poncy frippery it shall be returned to the kitchen forthwith, with a request for it to be returned upon a simple, honest plate, round, white, food for the use of.