Oh, we'll need it right away

If you ever find yourself in Weymouth, England, at dinnertime, you might want to try the Marlboro Restaurant on St. Thomas Street ("next to the town bridge"). By all accounts, it serves up a fine meal of fish and chips, for example. At least, it did one day earlier this month for Hannah and James Kirkby's wedding reception. And it wasn't even scheduled to be the caterer.

As reports have it, the mother of the bride, Katy Phillips, almost panicked when, following the ceremony at a church in neighboring Martinstown, she discovered that the food planned for the 52 guests hadn't been delivered. Nor was there any sign of the caterer. She commandeered a telephone and rang up several local pubs to ask if they could come to the rescue. To no avail.

With her options dwindling, Mom then called the Marlboro. Owner Mike Johnson said yes, his staff could comply, but it would take a while. Happily, within an hour, the guests were tucking into the catch of the day and French fries, still hot and wrapped in the traditional newspaper pages. The ushers did double duty as waiters, placing each order on glittering gold plates. "It was gorgeous," Katy Phillips told journalists. "[The Marlboro] even brought salt, vinegar, and ketchup. It could have been a disaster, but they really saved the day." The bill came to £200 (US $373.90), but according to the newlyweds it was worth every penny. Said Johnson, "We've done some big orders in our time, but ... that was definitely a first."

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