Friday, October 10, 2008
The Last Luncheon
I was almost sad to leave St. Marples' and Tim the gargoyle with his* trained avian pickpockets but my mission was more or less accomplished.
Best of all was the money. I still had a few hundred pounds left and it would be no use to me at home, most of it having been recalled by the Bank of England by then. I treated Ethel and myself to a lunch at the French Bistro on High Street. It went out of business in 1986 so it was nice to see the old place once again. I’ll say one thing about going back in time: You forget how tacky everything really was. You may think seventies retro is fabulous in to 2000s but you’re looking through rose-tinted glasses. Mostly the seventies were shabby 60’s retro but with extra cigarette ash.
Agnes had the Styles stuffed quail and I had the little grey cells in white wine. Did I mention it was Poirot themed? No? It was a French restaurant with Belgian stereotyping. In retrospect I’m glad it closed. The food was dreadful. I can guarantee that the quails were caught locally (with bread and alka-saltzer) and the grey cells were not caviar but roe. Fred Babbet (‘le chef’) relied on the gullibility of local residents to pass his muck off as food. You’ve got to love people like that.
*or her. I never could tell with gargoyles. They can be very confusing unless they’ve been sculpted with obvious gender traits.