Saturday, 26 July 2014

Beware - Welshmen dancing.

Gemma (in white, centre). Mark (right) and the co-conspirators
Gemma, Mark's wife, wanted it to be his birthday dinner surprise. The ruse was that she would take him out for the evening with his brother, Lee, who in turn would claim to want to call in on 'old friends'. This would be us, waiting with a preassembled posse of pals and a vast repast of poussin. I could do you a picture of the poussin; I know this is meant to be a food blog but... just use your imagination, or Google it.

And the dancing? That's coming. Don't jump to the end. Look at the pretty picture below first.

I did do a new amuse bouche. A Tom Aikens recipe of red and yellow pepper tuiles. I served these with a goats cheese cream and basil oil. They were meant to be crisp but the heat and humidity quickly foiled that plan. Also foiled was my camera battery. Thus, this was taken on the iPhone. I'll blog the recipe soon.

The evening didn't start well. I managed to bring about the single greatest destructive act in the restaurant when I nudged a table full of flutes. All nine smashed to the floor. Here's a handy tip for clearing up every piece of glass. First use a brush to remove the large shards and then a hoover to pick up the splinters. THEN you need only walk around with bare feet and you'll find that the tiny crystal daggers that earlier avoided all detection now simply stick to your flesh. Clever.

Things improved after that. For a start, Mark was Welsh (he still is). I've lived in London for 26 years now but I find I still warm to that accent. It puts me at ease. Soothing. The comfort of expectations. A lullaby of language (get on with it). There does seem to be a behaviour, a set of expectations and a certain self deprecating humour that the English just don't share. Or maybe it's only the Southern English. Or maybe that's all a nonsense of my prejudice and conformation bias.

I believe this was the first ever restaurant night where we've hosted more men than women. Only 5:4 but notable.

Other good things that happened: Mark was the first male, ever, to start the dancing: a mix of 80s Punk, early Motown and Northern Soul (and AC•DC to finish). Better still, he was the first man (Welsh or otherwise) to solo on the floor. I have the pics to prove it (sorry Mark).

I love dancing myself. I wish I had Mark's joie de vivre (or lack of pride). Yeah, it's all very well saying 'dance like no one's watching' but invariably someone is watching, with a smart phone and a broadband link to And that's normally said to someone young who can dance with snake hips and slinky shoulders; someone who can move both arms independently and is unselfconscious above the 'gay line'. I'd love to be the middle aged geezer who can suddenly spin off from his Tesco trolley and bust some moves in middle of the home-baking aisle to eventual, tumultuous applause and appreciative nods of inclusion from sexy people.

Sadly, I dance like a snooker ball in a thick sock. My children actually laugh... and make fun the next day while I tend to my hangover.

Anyway. This is Mark, and a bit of Photoshop magic.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you both for a wonderful evening! Wish we could have stayed longer! Clare & Rob x