My beloved and I took a trip to Lewes today for a football match (of which more another time). Lewes is one of my favourite places for mooching around. It's the place where we bought our honeymoon coffee table. I love to dawdle around the antique shops muttering 'why would you?' at some of the quirkier collections on display. The prize for ugliest object seen today went to a small china model of a man's head. The head was thrown back with mouth wide open to reveal gums set with stumpy, gappy teeth. It was being used as a match-stick holder.....
We stopped for lunch at a place we'd never been before. I'm deeply suspicious of any restaurant that wants to tell you about its 'philosophy' before offering you its food, but the menu itself sounded ok so we went ahead and ordered. My starter - terrine of locally caught game - was delicious. P had chosen prawns -they arrived smothered in something that was described as 'lemon foam', which had more than a passing resemblance to washing-up liquid - but they too tasted good.
What neither of us had expected was for the food to be served on what could only be described as pieces of broken roof slate. The sight was odd. The sound was truly gut-wrenching. We tried our absolute hardest not to scrape our cutlery against the 'plates'. We picked gingerly at the food, desperately hoping to avoid contact with the slate. I left half my food uneaten, but still we sat there cringeing. The words 'why would you' again crossed my lips. Just think nails and blackboards - totally inexplicable.
Luckily the main courses were served on proper white china - you can imagine the relief. And they were absolutely, totally and utterly delicious, so we left with a good taste in our mouths. If you're ever in Lewes it's worth checking out One9Seven in the High Street. I'd recommend the lamb. But please, please, please - if you're having a starter - ask them to serve it on a real plate.
After lunch, it was on to the football, where our team, Bromley FC were playing against Lewes at their fantastically-named ground - The Dripping Pan. This season, Lewes have been struggling to avoid relegation from the Blue Square South league. They beat us today, and deserved to do so. I hope they stay up.