Strange canapés and incorrectly toasted toast: Lords' Westminster food woes revealed

  • @TomEPPayne

The cheese is tasteless, the selection of yoghurts is lacking and sweet coconut canapés are a “strange” starter – these are among yet more complaints lodged by members of the House of Lords over their subsidised dining rooms.

The suggestions box at the Lords restaurant is full of notes from peers complaining about the food and service – a perk which costs taxpayers £1.3m a year.

Following another trawl through the slips by The Independent following Freedom of Information requests, one picky peer was found to have requested a toast machine, insisting: “I like to have fresh toast to my personal preference of toastyness".

Another demanded a “variation” of flavoured Müller Lite, rather than “just the old standard” version of the yoghurt. The box was also full of picky requests for lemon and ginger herbal teas (for “warding off a cold”), “fresh tuna in containers” and “cheddar with some taste” to go with jacket potatoes.

In November 2012 one member complained to the Lords catering department that staff were not on-hand to pour wine for guests at an event. The peer said a friend was forced to “fetch three bottles of wine from somewhere and start going round the table”.

In February last year, another wrote that it was “a little strange to be served some sweet coconut items at the beginning” of an event.

Earlier this week, The Independent revealed the bulk of the complaints made by Lords members, who receive £300 a day for turning up at the House.

They included moaning over a controversial new coffee machine producing “inferior coffee”, and one Lord who said he was left “scarred” after a reservation was cancelled, leaving his wife with nowhere else to eat because she was wearing a tiara.

Labour’s Maria Eagle told The Independent that the complaints were “completely out of touch” as families struggle to cope with the government’s cost-of-living crisis.

She said the Lords “should be grateful not to be one of the half a million Britons forced to rely on help from food banks.”