Ask Caroline, a Macmillan Nurse working with people who have Leukaemia, Myelodysplasia...
Jane is a haematology nurse with extensive experience in stem cell and bone marrow...
Once we get to the point at which we can start to go out and about again, it feels a bit like a game of Russian roulette, finding places to go that are clean, as safe as they can be and sympathetic to what may appear to outsiders to be eccentric needs.
I thought it might be useful to create a thread in which we can recommend places that we have found particularly helpful.
To start the ball rolling, I would like to recommend:
The new Terrace Restaurant at RHS Wisley.
This is the 'posh' restaurant, not the cafeteria one. The tables are spaced quite far apart and the restaurant tends to be free of children, who prefer the menu in the cafes.
I telephoned in advance to explain I was immuno-compromised. They reserved us a table tucked out of the way, so that we were not disturbed by people around us. They told us they had cleaned the tabe, cutlery etc carefully before we arrived - but then did it again once more whilewe were watching.
The staff very discreetly guided anyone else coming into the restaurant away from empty tables near us to try to keep the risk of contracting lurgies down.
The food was also delicious! Seasonal and from the garden.
The Gribble Inn, at Oving, near Chichester
This pub has a 'snug' at the far end of the main bar, away from where the crowds gather and the bar extends all the way down through the pub and into it.
I rang in advance and they reserved a group of us a table there, away from the other customers and allocated a member of staff to be down the snug end of the bar, so that we could be served with drinks food etc without having to leave the area.
Excellent pub food and a brewery on site. Really good service.
Beacon Hall House B&B near Tenterden, in Kent
A small B&B in a quiet rural location, which maintains very high standards of cleanliness and food. Consistently 'outstanding' in Sawdays etc. Restful, peaceful Arts & Crafts-style house.
A heated outdoor swimming pool and tennis court (which we didn't use) and extensive gardens to stroll in. 2 well-behaved dogs which didn't come near guest areas.
Just three rooms and only one other couple there, when we stayed recently. Breakfast around one large table - but enough room to be able to sit away from other people.
Beautiful home-cooked food and evening meals possible, if ordered in advance.
Room given an extra special clean before we arrived and all touch-points Detolled by very warm, friendly owners.
Close to Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, Hever, Penshurst Place, Rye and Chapel Down winery for trips out.
I dont like it when staff or friends handle the business end of the cutlery before thry give it to me or put it directly on the tabletop. I know perfectly well that someone handled it to get it out of the dishwasher but I havrnt seen that. Friends often wipe their cutlery with tissue but not sure that helps much. Not keen on using antibac wipe either as may be ingesting chemical from that.
Like to feel place is airy and Im not crammed in with other people. But also like to feel they have high turnover and food is fresh. Very wary of cakes on open counters where anyone can cough over them. Same in help yourself shops. I know we all want to reduce packaging but feel much safer if things are in cellophane. Havent bought deli meats for years.
Following my first Allo SCT I was given clearance by my team that I could eat anything - so we went straight out to the shores of Loch Ness to The Dores Inn and had a massive bowel of West Coast Muscles.
When my wife phoned to book she asked when there quietest service time was and explained why........ this is a very busy place but when we arrived there was no one in the place - they had opens up 30 mins early so we would miss the main start of service, we were in a corner and filled the rest of the restaurant from the other end......... and did not charge for my meal.
I am now coming up to 4 years post SCT number 2 and my immune system is still not showing a full recovery but we have no reservations going out for a meal but always ask for a quiet corner away from crowds. Our favourite Mustard Seed Restaurant in Inverness will automatically book us into the same table.
Mike - Thehighlander
It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela
What a lovely gesture, Mike (and I love the spellings!?!?!)
daughter went to tried and tested food outlets after her release from hospital; but only when she felt up to it, for a good few weeks she simply was too frail. And caught paraflu on one of her hospital appointments within 3 weeks of getting home anyway which set her back.
included in her list will be most of the pubs and restaurants in Bollington, Cheshire, as the vast majority cook fresh to order!
I'm with you on the cutlery habits, Tessa, HATE to see it badly handled when served, and it puts me right off, let alone any immune-compromised folk!
LOL moomy, I will leave them for the fun of it.
Just checked my notes.... I was cleared to eat 5 weeks post 1st SCT.
I was so ill following my 2nd SCT could not get out apart from clinics for 5 months and even then it was a good 12 months post SCT before we went out to eat........ missed my 60th birthday 1 month post my 2nd SCT so it was delayed for 12 months and all the family went to the Crieff Hydro for a weekend and they were very accommodating.
Ha! That reminds me of a Christmas (the second after daughter’s allo, so that would be 2012) when firstly she was unwell, then son was unwell and we eventually had the family get-together and present exchange in February 2013!
ps, hope you didn’t mind the remark about spellings, Mike?! I thought they were so appropriate and cute!
Finally got meal that was hot in parts. Dirty cutlery twice. Not sure hospital should be on list. Safer to eat out.
Seriously though, need ideas for sanitising cutlery at the table before eating. I'm sure I've seen some form of carry container for picnics. Or take your own wrapped in cling film.
Must say though the puddings are usually hot and generous proportions.
I'm reluctant to tell you best places in the New Forest as they are busy enough already. Do all places display a hygiene rating poster or is it just round here?
My local cafe are very proud of their 1 hygiene rating. I hear the NF inspectors are very stringent. Lady who runs that cafe wears latex gloves when gardening so she doesnt get dirt ingrained in her skin.
My spellings mistakes cos Im pecking at a little phone with a stylus.
I used to wash my cutlery in hot water in the sink and use the anti bacterial soap to do it - rinsing it afterwards of course and drying it on the paper towels!
We also used to liberate plastic cutlery from M&S whenever we bought anything from there. It comes wrapped in a protective plastic cover.
Yes, I think all local councils do the inspections and give 1-5 ratings, hubs says he reckons most are forged! But if ever they are seen as forged the EHO’s (environmental health officers) can surely take them to court? Have to say I do often check.
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