Friends

14 August 2016

Eating out...

My recent lunch date with Judy was hilarious. We went to a place we hadn’t been to before and probably won’t go to again. The Hungry Horse was very quiet when we walked in, practically deserted. Judy commented to the bar staff that it was unusual to see so many empty tables and received the explanation that a party was booked. A party of people won’t worry us, I remarked, as we chose where to sit. As always we wanted to be away from the bar in a secluded section. It is our policy to get as far away from crowds as possible, not that we don't like people but in a bar they are mostly noisy and do tend to crowd the area. 

The menu was huge and ordinary. Nothing fancy and nothing fanciable, so we both chose fish and chips. Well, you can’t go wrong with fish and chips. Right? Wrong! 

It was one of those places where cutlery is stacked in a neat container for you to help yourself. The first two knives still bore remnants of food which is extremely off-putting when you sit down to a meal. The forks weren’t too bad but by this time I wondered if they too had missed out on a good wash. The waitress apologised profusely and hastily brought replacements. Since we were miles away from another eating place we stayed put and hoped for the best.

Many years ago I loved to eat chips straight from the paper but not these days and especially not in a pub sitting at a table. As you can see by the picture, the meal was served on a sheet of newspaper, on a plate. If I'd had any sense I would have removed the paper but I honestly thought there would be grease-proof paper to sop up the ... er ... grease. Have you ever eaten greasy newspaper?

The fish and chips were what I call ordinary and tasteless. The chips weren’t too bad, the fish was tasty but the batter wasn’t. I didn’t even bother to taste the peas because of their colour. We hadn’t been eating for long when the music started. Full blast and I do mean FULL BLAST. We couldn’t hear ourselves speak because of the row. Judy grabbed the first member of staff she saw and asked them to turn the sound down. That’s when we learned that the party was for children. Honestly, lunchtime in a pub and they were having a kid’s party!

The sound was reduced ever so slightly then it stopped, then started, then stopped. I
thought the record player or whatever had gone wrong but Judy was sharper than me. ‘Kids’ party games,’ she said. In a pub? A place where people pop in for a lunch break, hoping for an hour of peace and quiet away from the hullabaloo of their workplace. 

We went through a programme of songs, from Old McDonald had a Farm to Oranges and Lemons and Five Little Ducks, and a stop-start game to the tune of There was an Old Woman who lived in a Shoe. Judy knew all the words! Some folk walked out, others joined in the singing. It takes all sorts!

So that’s, my account of this month’s dinner date with Judy. What fun! I have a feeling we won’t be going there again.

20 comments:

Stella Jones said...

Too bad. I'm sorry but I don't think a pub is the place for children. Do you!
We have had similar experiences. I think things just aren't the way they used to be. Must be getting old!

Valerie said...

Don't apologise, Stella, you are right. I agree with you but then I no longer think like a youngster.

Ron said...

LOVE the photograph of your, Valerie! I've never had fish and chips, so it was fascinating to see how they are traditionally eaten from a newspaper - that is so cool!

Don't you hate when you go out for a meal and your taste buds are just dying to eat something tasty, but then it turns out to be tasteLESS?

Your experience of the noise reminded me of a place I've eaten here in Philly, called McGillins (and an Irish Pub), where the food is not that great and the level of noise is INSANE. You literally can't even hear the person sitting at the table with you talk. I've gone there several times with a friend who loves the place, but every time I go I think, "Why the hell did we come here...I hate this place." Ha!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, my friend!
X

Katie Eggeman said...

I don't mind well-behaved kids but a party, save it for Chuck E Cheese, that way I won't ever run into it. I wouldn't even go to my boy's party, if it were in a restaurant. I love spell check,I get that word right every time,

Dan the Mountain Man said...

You have to be a really bad cook to mess up Fish and Chips. I wish you had a quiet lunch. I hope your next lunch out with a friend goes a lot better.

Valerie said...

Good Morning, Ron. In years gone by 'Chippies' always sold fish and chips wrapped in newspaper but with a sheet of grease proof paper underneath. Not so now, I think warnings against the danger of newsprint getting on food put a stop to it.

Irish pubs are always noisy. I don't mind that if there's a sing-song involved but it's not so good when expecting a 'quiet' meal.

kden said...

That sounds absolutely dreadful. The last place you'd expect a child's party to be. Next time go to a children's hangout and maybe it will be quiet because they will all be at the pub :)

Valerie said...

kden, what a brilliant idea. I'll suggest it to my friend. At least we can now laugh about it.

Denise inVA said...

I wouldn't touch that place with a barge pole Valerie. Sounded horrendous!

Valerie said...

Denise, I can definitely say we won't go there again.

Jenny Woolf said...

It sounds so awful that I had to laugh, even though I am sure you weren't laughing at the time!

CrystalChick said...

Oh nooo! That just sounds awful. Well, atleast you were with a friend and can find something much better another time.
We probably don't have any good fish/chips meals around here … but I'd certainly like to find one.

Valerie said...

Jenny, we laughed afterwards but it wasn't so funny while we were in there!!

Valerie said...

Mary, we know plenty places that are hundred percent better, we only went there because we thought it would be a change. Hmmm come to think, it was.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love fish n chips - YUMMY!!!! I have not had fish and chips for a very long time!!

Valerie said...

OE, if all fish and chips were like those we had that day I would never eat them again. Fortunately I'm a fan of that particular meal so will enjoy them elsewhere.

Geraldine said...

Kids at a pub and for a party?? That is something I've yet to see here in Canada. Actually I hope I don't. Sounds like a place to take off your lunch possibilities. I always thought it was cool about the f and c in newspapers in the UK, something you also don't see here.

Have a good weekend Val, we are only a few days from our move hooray...

Mr. Shife said...

It sounds like you weren't laughing at the time but I am glad you can look back with a chuckle now. Take care my friend and have a wonderful weekend.

Valerie said...

Geraldine, we have definitely removed that pub from our list of possibilities!
Hope the move goes well and without hitches.

troutbirder said...

We have a similar place called "Chucky Cheeses". Their specialty is bad pizza, loud "music", loud video games, animated characters and usually about a dozen simultaneous birthday party going on at the same time for the under 12 crowd. Oh my...:(