The women were sitting at a table at the Canteen, an upscale, trendy restaurant in London’s South Bank neighborhood.
Moments later, a member of the wait staff approached them.
“I didn’t notice any adverse reaction in the restaurant, myself,” Cawson told London Live in an interview. “Then the lady came over to us and said, ‘Can you stop what you’re doing please, this is a family restaurant.'”
To which, Cawson’s girlfriend replied: “Is it a family restaurant or is it a homophobic restaurant?”
The staff member denied being homophobic. “She wasn’t very appreciative of that comment,” Cawson described. Then she motioned for the woman to sit apart from one another.
“We didn’t feel like we were overly affectionate,” Cawson said.
“The second comment,” she continued, “was that it was a family restaurant and it made me feel; ‘why does that matter? Is it because children are present – not that there were any children present at that time – anyway, why should it matter if it is a family restaurant?'”
The couple then quickly paid their bill and left.
A spokesman for Canteen said the restaurant is investigating the claims, and released a statement that said, in part: “We are very surprised and shocked to learn about this issue, which we have never encountered before. Nonetheless this has been taken extremely seriously and a full investigation has been launched to find out what happened.”
“Something needs to be done,” Cawson told London Live. “I don’t know whether it’s awareness. I don’t know whether it’s a sort of education of what is homophobia. … I don’t think people are fully aware about different comments they make and how they are received.”