Magazine Archive

Have you ever been asked a question where the answer is so blindingly obvious that it’s hard to find a way to proffer the answer genuinely without it sounding like you’re actually being sarcastic? The BBC headline writer who came up with the strictly-the-facts-but-still-sounds-like-they’re-being-sarky headline ‘All-you-can-eat pizza festival apologises for lack of pizza’ appears to have found themselves in a similar predicament. So ridiculous is the situation that it’s hard to sum it up simply without seeming like they are, in fact, taking the pizza.

The offending event was the Notting Hill Pizza Festival, which was held in mid-May promising “the opportunity to sample unlimited amounts of pizza” by the organisers, Bellmonte Life. However, when an oven apparently failed, the peckish patrons were left queueing for around an hour for each slice.

The organisers then moved on to blaming "overzealous appetites", deliberately playing on the ambiguity of the word “unlimited”; bringing to mind the classic Simpsons episode where Homer gets thrown out of an all-you-can-eat restaurant for gross overconsumption and is told by his shyster solicitor: “This could be the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film The Neverending Story!”

The event now ‘enjoys’ a 1/5 rating on both Groupon and Time Out; though at least the whole doughy debacle inspired a reviewer on the latter to come up with: “You can’t just hire a hall in Notting Hill, put Now 38 on through a cheap PA system, buy four pizzas from Iceland, and sell tickets for unlimited pizza to a thousand people.”

Bellmonte Life eventually offered attendees complimentary VIP passes for an upcoming barbeque festival. So, if you happen to see an event offering the revised claim “the opportunity to possibly sample an unspecified amount* of barbequed food”, you’re probably best off taking your dough elsewhere…

*Within reason