Would You Give it Five Stars?
On noticing and creating meaningful moments every day
Grace Dent’s irreverent and frank reviews of the London restaurant scene have amused me for years. Her column was the first page I turned to when the ES Magazine hit the stands each week. Now she reviews for the Guardian. Earlier this summer I spent a few weeks in Liverpool where, one day I had coffee in the new and swish Ropes and Twines on Bold Street. The interior included a long marble bar designed to entice customers to speak to each other and to the staff. So I did.
Turns out the girl next to me worked at a local restaurant Grace Dent had reviewed favourably just a couple of weeks before. She had the coolest name – Bertie – and was moving down to London for an exciting job in the capital’s restaurant scene. We talked about overcoming job interview nerves, handling criticism and what makes for a good venue and dining experience.
Then G, the boss man behind the counter, gave us each a complimentary pastry. I died and went to heaven. Our unlikely trio reflected for quite a while on why a certain type of French butter is the key to the flakiest of flaky pain au chocolate. (And I’ve forgotten the name – oops). This experience of coffee + serendipity, generosity, common interest and deliciousness was a five-star pleasure. Oprah Winfrey talks about how wonderful it is to be aware of, and create, four and five-star experiences every day:
‘For me, just waking up “clothed in my right mind,” being able to put my feet on the floor, walk to the bathroom, and do what needs to be done there is five stars. I’ve heard many stories of people who aren’t healthy enough to do that. A strong cup of coffee with the perfect hazelnut creamer: four stars. Going for a walk through the woods with the dogs unleashed: five stars. Working out: one star, still. Sitting under my oaks, reading the Sunday papers: four stars. A great book: five. Hanging out at Quincy Jones’s kitchen table, talking about everything and nuthin’: five stars. Being able to do good things for other people: five plus. The enjoyment comes from knowing the receiver understands the spirit of the gift.’
What I Know For Sure, Oprah Winfrey
- If a gratitude journal is not your thing, then perhaps take a few moments now to think back on the day so far. How would you rate the encounters, exchanges, insights?
- When did you last have a 5-star day?
- How does a 5-star day make you feel?