So, it’s become a thing that I and a few friends go and have a meal once a month on Monday nights. It’s brilliant; I eat actual food, I see actual human beings without wanting to punch them.
I work in retail, it’s a common thing.
We started this week with Yvonnes choice. So, we piled into Hobbes (my car, one chooses, another drives) and bimbled off. I have a massive problem with doing this because if we find something amazing, which we did, I’ll tell you, and you’ll go, and then we’ll never get a seat. It’s a moral dilemma.
But, knowledge should always be spread, amazing meals should always be spoken about and out of the way places need all the help they can get. But our first destination, the first of The Bimbling Foodies Group needs no help at all. Seriously, this place needs to be on the list of places you eat at before you die.
Our group comprised of Me (if you don’t know my by now, read back over a few posts, you’ll get the idea). Cara (who does all of my tattoos, while being one of my best friends, a total loon and fantastic fun). Jane (an amazing singer, mum, friend and pocket sized dynamo of mirth) and Yvonne (a no-holds-barred, in-your-face force to be reckoned with, under whose wing I feel rather safe, there’s only one other wing I feel safer under!) Between the four of us, we came up with this plan, and set it into motion.
It’s one of the few times that I can say I’ve gone along with an idea and haven’t thought to myself later “I have made a terrible mistake”. Off we went in standard British Summer weather, umbrellas at hand, and set off to Mayfield. We arrived at about 6:15pm, and already the place was filling up, we had time to grab drinks and a table, and less than 20 minutes later, there were no tables left. Yvonne, the sensible one out of us, came up with a brilliant strategy, and as such, I never want to go to war against her! So, heading outside for smokes in groups of two, we satisfied our dreadful nicotine addiction and our desire to still have a table when we got back in.
Dinner started at 8, and for £26 a head, we managed a huge starter, the main course and a gorgeous dessert. Normally, cheap dinners are worrying to me, as quality has to be cut somewhere. But, here, in this place, no quality has been cut. A four meat carvery, loads of crisp, flavoursome vegetables, mouth-wateringly crispy shelled, fluffy roast potatoes, a delicious potato and cheese sauce hotpot, topped with a thick, creamy meat gravy. The meat, delicately roasted to perfection, sliced the just the right thickness, flavoured with the best of British herbs and that moist, melt-in-the-mouth way of amazing meat. Dear lord, it’s making me hungry again just thinking about it.
Served with gracious manners, friendly smiles, polite attention and best of all, we were left to enjoy our meal, without someone wandering about, hovering over our shoulder and asking us how it is when we have our mouths full. I really hate that. I just want to scream “God, I’m eating, would you hover over a bear while it’s eating? No. So don’t do it to me, you’ll lose more fingers and limbs to me than a bear. Bugger off and let me eat, I’ll let you know if it tastes like crap, and now me having to keep you here and tell you to leave me alone has made my food go cold, go make some more then leave me the hell alone.” But I don’t, I stew quietly and take petty revenge. But we were left to enjoy our meal, as the pub/restaurant/hotel fell victim to sounds of thrilled mastication.
I like when people are so into their food they quietly eat. Letting their air of enjoyment speak for them. I love people watching, and seeing dozens of faces zoom back to a memory of the first time they tried something they loved. That slightly glazed look of quiet peace and joy.
The dessert arrived, in the form of fruity sorbet in a brandy snap shell and was the perfect palette cleanser before we sat back, sated and full, trying to remember when we had a nicer meal. We struggled.
I’ve told you it’s in Mayfield, and I’ve told you it’s a carvery, that’s all you get. If you can’t work it out from there, you’re probably not safe around hot plates, metal cutlery and the general public anyway, so that’s all you’re getting out of me!
In summer, I shall go back, and sit in the garden. I had a peek at it under cover from the rain, and I can’t wait to sit in it properly. Maybe have an ice cold vodka and coke as the sun blazes down, but that will have to wait for a sunny day.
And there better be a seat left for me, or I’ll be rather annoyed!