The friend I was with in Edinburgh has recently been mentioned in this blog as it was she whose parents were friends with T Dan Smith. F and I have been friends since we were both six years old, and this trip was in recognition of 44 years of knowing each other.
To reiterate that it was F’s first time in Edinburgh, and indeed her first time north of the border since a family holiday in the Highlands when she was 14.
F, although intellectually far ahead of me, left school with one poor A level owing to her having basically not attended sixth form due to lack of interest. Whilst I went on to university, she got a job and has been with the same employer ever since – by coincidence – the same employer as my current one. The difference is that she with the poor qualifications is earning five times more than I do, and running a significant proportion of the place. Partly as a result of that F has over the years developed a taste for fine wines and food. Her idea of a bar is one that sells a range of champagnes by the glass, thus she was somewhat thrown when I took her in The Half Way House. This pub may win awards for its real ale, but she was a bit iffy about the wine selection (although it did turn out to be very good). She ended up drinking a Pimms Winter Warmer, as suggested by the very friendly lady behind the bar.
F then started surveying the food selection. This was a little odd to me as we were already booked in at a very posh restaurant for the evening, and at this time it was 4.00. She quizzed the staff about what exactly were ‘stovies’, and she ended up deciding we had to try them, oh – and some haggis, neeps and tatties for good measure.
The stovies cost £3.50 and the haggis etc was a fiver.
As we sat down, and in full ear shot of the small but crowded pub she announced “I always enjoy some tapas with my drink.” TAPAS!!!! In totally basic beer drinkers pub in Edinburgh??? General hilarity ensued. I laughed too once my acute embarrassment had died down a little.
Turned out under cross examination that she genuinely thought that owing to the price of said items, that we would indeed be getting tapas size portions. However, as the menu made clear when quoting from the Good Pub Food Guide: ‘There are no half sized portions at the Half Way House’ and two enormous plates of food duly arrived.
We ate the lot and still managed to eat here later too.
This week I shall be mainly – dieting.
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