I know the anniversary meal was almost a week ago now. Life just decided to speed up for a few days and I couldn’t get to finish the story. Just pretend that it’s still last week when you read it.
Boofuls excelled himself this year in the anniversary department. Picking up on my comment that I’d like to try out a restaurant in one of the very nice wedding venues that we’ve worked in this year, he went ahead and booked it without any prompting or hinting from me from me. That was a nice surprise on it’s own. It’s not the same is it when you’ve dropped so many hints about a ‘surprise’ you’d like that you’re almost smacking them round the head with them?
Anyway, back to the plot: The hotel in question is an old manor house which dates back to 1189 in a very pretty little town. It’s a fair old drive away but I reckoned it would be worth it. Half way though the day an email dropped into my inbox telling me that he’d booked us in there for dinner. Ooh exciting! ‘Er, expensive’, said the negative little voice at the back of my mind. ‘I’m worth it’ retorted my inner Goddess.
Booked in for 8pm, we had plenty time after work to get all spruced up, I put on my gorgeous, new, kingfisher blue, platform killer heels, they’re not called killer heels for nothing, they really do kill my feet but they look amazing. With those, a bit of bling and a splash of perfume, I was ready to be wined and dined. More than ready to be dined – I was so hungry I’d have chased a scabby donkey.
Settling down with a nice cold G & T, the concierge, looked at us strangely as he passed, as if he knew us but didn’t know where from. Of course, every other time he’s seen us we’ve been dressed for work in neutral colours, lesbian shoes and with huge cameras round our necks. Out of context he struggled for a minute. “You don’t recognise us with our clothes on, do you?” Once he’d recognised us we got a lovely warm welcome.
We drank our drinks in the beautiful lounge with the 12 foot wide and eight foot high stone fireplace with a lovely log fire blazing in the grate. We chatted, we waited for the menu to arrive. We drank our drinks, we chatted, we waited for the menu to arrive and still we drank our drinks and chatted and waited for the menu to arrive. Getting a bit long winded this, izzinit?
We were starting to get a bit edgy when a waiter came up, apologised profusely for the delay and offered us bread and olives to keep us amused till they were ready for us. That took half an hour to arrive. I was staring longingly at the table leg which was looking tastier by the moment. Eventually the bread and olives arrived, we placed our dinner order and with spirits revived we resumed chatting.
Some time later we were shown to our table, on the way there I thought it was odd that of all the occupied tables in the restaurant, no one appeared to be eating, they were all just sitting. So we joined in with the sitting. I sat myself down on my seat. The table was almost up to my chin! “Would you like a cushion, Madam?” enquired the waiter with a slight smirk. Bloody hell, it’s a long time since I’ve needed a booster seat! “I’ll manage, thank you.”
A full hour and a half after we arrived, our starters arrived. At that point I was so wishing Id ordered something more substantial than scallops, delicious as they were, they were gone in seconds, I practically inhaled them such was my hunger. I pause long enough to notice they were tepid but too hungry to be prepared to wait any longer. Boofuls had leek and potato soup, which strangely enough was a radioactive green. I’ve never seen leeks that colour. Tasty though.
Starters were cleared away and we resumed the waiting. The elderly couple at the next table started a conversation with us and we had a lovely time chatting with them until our respective main courses eventually arrived. The elderly gentleman sent his straight back to the kitchen.
Boofuls got started on his steak, popped some in his mouth and then looked at me horrified, as if he wanted to spit it out there and then but didn’t want to be uncouth. “Airs umink on iss ake.”
“Excuse me? Would you like to try that again.”
With difficulty he swallowed what was in his mouth and tried again. “There’s something on this steak. I asked for a plain steak.”
Hi did in fact ask for a plain steak. Boofuls likes his food bland. More bland than a bland thing, in fact. Spices, seasoning or any kind of taste enhancers put him right off.
I tasted the steak. God! It was dee-lish-us! It did however have something on it. Obviously a blend of spices had been sprinkled onto it before cooking. I couldn’t identify what they were but they were goooood!
“Waiter! What’s on this steak?”
Nothing, Sir. I told the chef you wanted it plain.”
Waiter. What’s on this steak?”
“Um. We call it angel dust. He did only put a bit on, Sir. I told him you like your food plain.”
Boofuls didn’t want another long wait for a plain steak so he persevered with his dinner but left three quarters of it. My dinner of roast pork with crackling mash was delicious – but tepid. Sigh.
We’d reached a point where instead of being irritated we were starting to find it all rather funny. After last years anniversary fiasco this was nothing!
The conversation between us and the next table and indeed with the waiter once everyone had finished eating, flowed and we had a lovely time.
As we got up to leave and asked for the bill, the waiter declined our payment. “We didn’t do a good job tonight so we aren’t charging you. We’d rather you came back to see us again.” Well that was a nice surprise!
We did insist that we pay for the wine, after all, we’d had no trouble with that.
So. We left happy. The hotel was happy. The elderly couple was happy. All was well with the world.
All in all, not a bad anniversary this year.