Deterrent Of The Week

Leaving aside the vagaries of the British climate, one of the perils of eating al fresco is the attentions of unwanted visitors such as wasps and seagulls. Being bombarded by seagulls is not a British phenomenon it would seem and is a particular problem in Venice. According to the manager of the Hotel Monaco and Grand Canall, one seagull stole a croissant from the hand of a guest as they were putting it to their mouth and another flew off with an entire steak. Tablecloths have to be changed constantly.

Enough is enough and the Venice hoteliers’ association is actively discussing measures to curb this growing menace. Solutions being aired include hiring a falconer to hunt the gulls or bombarding them with special sounds or unpleasant odours, all expensive options.

Two hotels, the Gritti Palace and the Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal have taken to arming their guests with water pistols. They are a bright orange colour after they were told that seagulls cannot abide the cover. It seems to work, as the gulls take one look at them and fly away.

So effective are they that you do not have to use them which is a shame. It would brighten up a meal, methinks.

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