Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Away to the North

I was kidding a bit when I entitled the last posting "Away to the West". We did, indeed, travel westward - but only for a few miles.

This time, though, my description of "north" is entirely justified. We spent the weekend in the far provinces of Bath to celebrate Milly's birthday. Milly has reached the grand old age of 5 and everyone thought it would be a fine idea to get together and mark the occasion.

And so, Saturday morning saw Mrs The Millbrooker, Jah Cousteau and me clambering aboard the 1044 from Plymouth to speed along the tracks to Bath via Exeter St David's and Westbury.

Cue an excuse for a railway(ish) shot.
At Exeter, Jah Cousteau wondered what a stoneblower was ...
 ... "It blows stones," I knowledgeably informed him, eager to show off my expertise in all things railway.

At Westbury we had the unexpected treat of one of everyone's long-time blog favourites being in charge of our connection to Bath.
Before long we were whistling through the lands of my childhood ... 
 ... until we reached Bath and the weekend began properly.
It was, after all, a birthday weekend so the birthday girl was suitably toasted with pink bubbly stuff. Trickers kindly volunteered to win the much coveted Unflattering Photo of the Day Award during the toasting ceremony.
That evening the diet well and truly hit the skids as we opted for a burger blow out from the rather excellent Billy's Burger Bar of Larkhall.

Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmmm - my arteries loved every despicable mouthful. But we were all so ready for our food that no one remembered to take any photos of us gorging on the yummy beef/boar/kangaroo (delete according to taste and which of us you think ate what) burgers and fries.

The following day brought another celebrant to the occasion as the Wizzers of Soz arrived in a similar manner to ourselves, but from Soz rather than Plymouth. I believe there might have been a bit of a do in Southampton the night before.
Yet more eating was in order and we merry-makers made our way to One Beaufort for a posh Sunday lunch with drinks kindly sponsored by Jah Cousteau.
Those of you who don't enjoy food photos, look away now. Scroll down until you see a photo of a pink looking pudding, the main narrative will restart just below there.

Mmmmm - parma ham, crevette and calamar salad starters. Delicious, albeit shockingly overpriced at £7.20 for one slice of ham, 2 (count 'em) shrimps and a handful of squid and greenery.
Mains was again very very yummy - everyone except yours truly plumped for the Sunday roast. I had grilled (very fresh) mackerel fillets with a rice/prawn thingy. At the risk of repeating myself - delicious, but a paltry portion for as close to £13 as makes no difference.
Everyone enjoyed their roasts, mind, and at a tenner each for posh-service restaurant fare it wasn't bad value. And they came with enough veg that a doggy bag was required so the Wizzers of Soz could have a veggie lunch later in the week.
And so we came to puds - and these were really, truly eye-wateringly, indefensibly expensive for what was served - at £6 a pop the best (indeed, quite decent) value was my cheese selection (the chutney was absolutely beautiful) ...
 ... but the sweets seemed meagre indeed at the price, albeit very attractively presented. This was Mrs The Millbrooker's panacotta pud; her feelings are much as mine - yummy - but watch that pricing policy, guys - you're overreaching your VFM.
I'll leave the gripes about the waitress who failed to bring an ordered extra portion of gravy; who also failed to bring two pints of (very nice) Chuffin' Ale from the pump and who didn't bring the dessert menu when asked (Mrs The Millbrooker went trogging off after a ten minute wait and found a another staff member who obliged).

So - there's the restaurant review - make your own choices; I've eaten at Number One Beaufort in the evening and had a wonderful, well served, good VFM (not inexpensive) meal. On the strength of this experience, though ... well it was a tad disappointing.

Not to be downhearted, though, it was Milly's birthday and, regardless of my (and others') gripes, we enjoyed ourselves chuntering away and putting the world to rights over the table as all good lunch parties should.

And then it was back to Milly and Trickers' pad ... 
 ... and from thence back upon the iron horse to our own little corner of the world in the Rame Pensinsula.
I'm sure everyone will join me in wishing Milly the happiest of birthdays (even though it was three days ago, now - birthdays last at least a week in my book).

1 comment:

Mrs TheMillbrooker said...

My roast beef was actually £15.90; the 'Sunday Roast £10' board failed to point this out. And yes, it was very tasty beef, but no, it wasn't worth twice what we'd have paid in our own local for something just as tasty, more generous, and more promptly served!