So, my partner and I were entertaining a rather famous friend at the new Brasserie du Palace at Le Fairmont Montreux Palace where we were staying – our first time since it rebranded as a Fairmont from previously having been a Raffles (still part of the Fairmont chain). 

Well, this trip proved that there is something about a name.  We are talking about a five star deluxe hotel that charges a rather high premium for what was previously a truly renown level of service.  Now – not so much.  The hotel itself was still pretty much the same with the exception of a garish (and expensive) remodel.  The hotel services are still top shelf – the new design and dining options, not so much.

The gourmet restaurant and bar are now gone replaced by a miniscule lobby bar a remodeled (not for the better) Brasserie.  On this trip we were ignored by a bartender who though it more important to socialize rather than serving customers.  This would be addressed later by the duty manager who graciously apologized for the incident.

On the third night of our stay my partner sat on the bed and it collapsed, clearly having been incorrectly put together which resulted in wooden blocks propping up a corner for two nights until they could properly repair it.  Okay, not really a big deal but rather unexpected.

The piece de resistance came on our final evening while entertaining our friend.  The meal was off to a rough start as the bar could not figure out how to make a Martini.  My poor partner went through three before one was actually drinkable.  But here is where it gets interesting…we were all well into our entrees and I was savoring a rather well-prepared filet de boeuf and was nearly ¾ of the way through it having consumed all of the accoutrements that came with it but suddenly among conversation I spied something that looked a bit like a spice at first but when I looked more closely I noticed that it was…wait for it…a STAPLE.  Yes, a metal un-bent staple that clearly was cooked along with some portion of my meal, the metal having turned a nice dark charred color.  I was shaking and immediately let the manager know who quickly disappeared into the kitchen and return with the chef.  Well, multiple apologies later from a variety of staff an investigation was promised.  The chef maintained that they do not use staples in the kitchen…well, somehow from the kitchen to the table it clearly got in there and truly looked like it had been cooked having lost the shiny patina that a new, unused piece of metal would have.

Needless to say I was beside myself thinking what if I HAD chewed on that piece of metal?  Yes, I am anal about looking at my food (and expirations dates) – always have been.  Thankfully this time it all paid off because my OCD is the only reason I saw the staple prior to ingesting it.

The next morning I was the talk of the town and upon our departure the Head of Operations personally came down to apologize for the incident – which was very much appreciated and I can only hope that their investigation will find out where the foreign object came from.  I can only think perhaps a crate or something that was delivered because the ends of the staple were still straight and not like it had gone through a traditional stapler (for paper).

It was more shocking and unexpected than anything.  I did not eat it so no harm other than my nerves and the restaurant in its defense comped the entire meal which was not necessary as no harm was done and no one else’s meal had any problems.  They need not have done that and I like to believe they will look into the matter so that it will NOT happen again.  I truly hope to hear back from the hotel once their investigation into where the staple came from so that we can ensure that this not happen again in the future.

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