Wink is here for Easter, having arrived yesterday on her birthday. We’re planning to take her to the theatre in London as her present, so will have a look and aim to book up, tomorrow.
We went over to Southwold today. First to an antique fair, where LT bought me my engagement ring back last August Bank Holiday – we had a nice look round but didn’t buy anything today. What caught my eye were some framed Chinese silk embroideries, very attractive. They were mainly, possibly all, sleeves from late 19th century costumes, removed, mounted and framed – a new idea as far as I know. Nothing we wanted to buy: I quite liked some antique Persian rugs and some treen, but wasn’t in the mood to buy for the sake of it.
Then we went on into the town and drove around a bit, looking for somewhere to park. The car parking is free and unrestricted, which tends to mean that people stay a long time. After about fifteen minutes, I suggested that we go down to the harbour and see if we could get lunch in the pub there; otherwise there are some stalls that do fish and chips, crab salad (all locally caught) – and as we headed that way, there was a parking space that hadn’t been there a few minutes earlier. Lucky us. Even more remarkably lucky, the pub where I took Tim the very first time he came to visit (other than the blog party five years ago), the October before last, had a table free in the courtyard and it was not too chilly out there. At 1 o’clock on a Bank Holiday weekend Saturday, that was very good news – all the tables were booked or occupied inside.
Having had parents in the catering business and having both eaten out a lot and had a fair few parties, I take something of an interest in practical catering. I’ve had very little experience myself in offering food from a menu, but I know when it’s managed well (or badly) and recognise how a kitchen and dining room are managed. The place was very busy but was adequately staffed. We were brought menus quite quickly and drink orders taken. A few minutes passed before they arrived, but not long enough for us to be impatient, and then we were left a bit longer before the orders were taken. This is all to allow for the kitchen to pace the receipt of orders – everything we asked for would have to be cooked individually, so clearly some time would elapse before service. Ten minutes later, our cutlery and (linen) napkins were brought, five or ten minutes more and the food arrived, which was pretty good going. Two waiters brought it – if it hadn’t all been ready together, one would have brought the platefuls, one at a time, to buy a bit more time. Anyway, we were all well pleased and enjoyed our lunch. And, as I have a few Adnams shares, I got 15% off the bill.
Stevo and – I’ve forgotten what name I gave his mate – arrived just as we were leaving and they’ve cleared another building and repaired it: it just has the new door to be added. We’re not going to run out of jobs for a while yet, though.