stapsdoes101things: Pizza with '101' marked out in green pimento (101food)
Leeds Parish Church

Perhaps six restaurants was too few? Should I have aimed higher? I certainly didn't expect to complete this goal within a year, but here we are: of the four nights that I was in Yorkshire, I ate at a restaurant on three of them. Let's face it: it was that or supermarket sandwiches in my hotel room. Not inspiring.

So -

on Saturday the 2nd I ate at Da Mario's, an Italian restaurant. I had a goat's cheese salad followed by tortelloni with asparagus. Very nice. I wish I could say the same for the orange juice I had with it, which seemed to be reconstituted, and resulted in pale squash-flavour at the top of the glass and soupy sweet gunk at the bottom. The house white was OK, however.

on Sunday I had pizza with a friend.

on Monday the 4th I ate at Shabab Pavilion, an Indian restaurant. Started with poppadoms, and had a very nice gobi aloo sag (cauliflower/potato curry) for the main course, with peshwari (almond/sultana) naan.

on Tuesday the 5th I ate at Safran, a Persian restaurant. I was in something of a hurry, having found a concert I wanted to go to at Leeds Parish Church (above). I started with aash-e-reshtah (an absolutely delicious noodle and bean soup) and had all that I could manage of an enormous portion of fesenjaan (walnut sauce) with rice.

Now I've learned not to be shy about asking for a table for one, I'm finding that I can be a lot more adventurous about where and what I eat. In each of the cases above I walked in off the street because I fancied the look of the place. In each case I found something that I liked all or most of, at a reasonable price.

That said, I'm not convinced that eating out is really a habit that I want to get into. Just to remember that it's a possibility that exists, and, when I'm out with friends and it's my turn to pick the eatery, to have a little more trust that we'll find something edible.
stapsdoes101things: A sculpture of a Wellsian Martian Tripod; text '101' in corner (101woking)

If you were wondering, Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, is indeed my regular church. Guildford Shakespeare Company, however, is worth seeing wherever it performs. (In the summer they do outdoor performances. I'm thinking of taking a picnic.)

So, once I'd finished my first aid training, I wandered back into the centre of Guildford and met [personal profile] countertony for dinner at Pizza Express. Olives, pizza rustichella, and tartufa di cioccolato. (Dull, I know, but it does count.) We then wandered over to the church, and watched Marcellus and Barnardo patrolling the stage until 7.30.

It was a good performance. Hamlet is not my favourite Shakespeare, or even my favourite Shakespeare tragedy (though at least it wasn't Romeo and Juliet again!) but I did enjoy this version. For me, Claudius and Polonius were the most convincing; Hamlet himself didn't quite live up to my expectations, though I don't know exactly what my expectations were! Ophelia was very shouty all the way through and then surprised me by moving me almost to tears in the mad scene.

I think the great success in this production lay in the emphasis on the military side of things: a kingdom constantly under the threat of war (and the stylised 1930s costuming went a long way to help with this) and cracking under the strain. I could have done with less of the Doctor Whoesque incidental music, at least at the volume they were playing it. And I could really have done with a cushion.

Little Black Dress

Then, yesterday morning, I was wandering around the charity shops of Woking, and came across my little black dress. The photo above is a detail of the beading at the waist. It's a John Rocha design for Debenhams, tags still attached, in my size, for £15.99. Sixteen quid is a lot for a charity shop - but it's cheap for an unworn 'designer' dress.

I wore it to a party last night. The party was in Reigate and, while it's possible to get home from Reigate after nine o'clock, if you don't want to take two hours and go round via Clapham Junction, it's more sensible to throw yourself on the mercy of your friends who happen to live ten minutes' drive away, near Redhill.

Said friends put me up for the night, and I spent this morning raiding their back-up drive for photos. I've now got copies of all the pictures I could possibly need for my scrapbook of other people's weddings. As for the scrapbook of my own wedding, it's almost finished. I just need to get prints of a couple of photos from my hen night.
stapsdoes101things: '101' superimposed on a stylised picture of a teapot (Default)
1 February 2011

No more goals completed, yet, but I've been prodding at a couple of the big ones. I've booked myself onto a First Aid at Work course (with, I might add, full consent, approval and, more to the point, funding, of my employer) - that's in a couple of weeks.

I've set up a Facebook event for my 26th birthday, though at the moment it says little more than 'ADVANCED WARNING'. I'll work on the details later.

What else? I had prints made of all the photos [personal profile] freddiefraggles took at my wedding, and spent a happy weekend sorting and trimming and sticking. I'm now rather more than half way through the album, and considerably less than half way through the photos.

Went for lunch today at Rumwong, a Thai restaurant in Guildford. It was my first real attempt at Thai food, and I liked it a lot - I had a noodle dish with chicken and broccoli, very mild and delicate in flavour. Also chrysanthemum tea, on my manager's recommendation; she unrecommended it, however, having tasted it. Myself, I found it plesant, but far too sweet. Service was terribly slow.

Ah yes, and we have discovered that the impending nibling-in-law is in fact a niece. This discovery has prompted me to get started on a patchwork quilt - a modified Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern in blue and pink.

Things are going quite nicely.
stapsdoes101things: Pizza with '101' marked out in green pimento (101food)
That apostrophe implies possession rather than contraction. This is Jamie [Oliver]'s Italian restaurant, one of many, in what used to be the Fopp building in Guildford. (And kudos for saving that; it was very sad to see it all shut up, because it's a very endearing little roundhouse.) We all got booked in there for the works Christmas do, and the set menu was as follows:

- glass prosecco: very drinkable

- antipasto 'planks' - propped up on cans of tomato purée in a terribly twee-rustic fashion. No complaints about the content, mind - and, given most of the people at my table were off pork for one reason or another, I got more than my fair share of rather fantastic ham.

- main: well, there was pork, bream, chicken or gnocchi. I had the pork, which was slow-cooked, very tender, with very nice stuffing. With polenta chips (dull), spinach (jolly good, I thought, though one colleague thought it a bit over-garlicked), butterbean/carrot/tomatoey broth. Not bad at all.

- pudding: again, a choice. Mine was 'tutti-frutti tiramisù', which definitely contained many fruits, but, not containing any coffee, wasn't really what I'd expect of a tiramisù. It was effectively a trifle. That said, I think I had the best of the three. (I like trifle, after all.) The other choices were chocolate cake with red wine sorbet (I tasted the sorbet, which was a bit odd and not really as effective as it was trying to be, but not the cake), and lemon curd (I would have been very disappointed with this; it wasn't lemony at all.)

- mince pies - made with filo pastry, but otherwise inoffensive. A bit rich after all the above, though.

In short: a pleasant meal, but not so overwhelmingly great that I'd be falling over my feet to go there again. I'm rather pleased that work paid half. It was pretty good for fifteen quid, but I'm not sure that I'd say the same for thirty. And colleagues are saying, what about having Thai next year?
stapsdoes101things: Pizza with '101' marked out in green pimento (101food)

It's [ profile] stonefox84's birthday on Wednesday, and so she got ten friends together last night to go out to Charlie Choy's, a restaurant in Woking (it's just next Victoria Arch, behind that huge rusty sculpture thing). The restaurant is on the first floor, and downstairs is the 'Lotus Lounge' - which was rather a pity from our point of view, because the sound goes straight up and makes conversation difficult.

The idea is similar to the all-you-can-eat sushi conveyors: take what you like the look of. There are two differences: firstly, there are no conveyors. The food stands still, and you move. Secondly, it goes rather further than sushi. Chinese, Indian, Thai, pretty much everything. Plus pizza and chips. 'Marco Polo's revenge,' said [ profile] countertony.

I began with a small portion of stir fry (the ingredients are set out in trays, and you pick what you like, and then they cook it for you - I had noodles, prawns, carrots, and cabbage, in a medium spicy sauce - which wasn't very spicy at all). Next, a little Thai green chicken curry - this was in big old vats, and you helped yourself. After that, chicken tikka, and a rather fantastic peshwari naan.

Puddings were less appetising: I had a little jelly and some peach slices. They brought out a birthday cake for Sarah. I have just eaten my slice; it tasted much like any other supermarket birthday cake.

We then moved on to cocktails. Woo woos were obligatory for the first round, unless one was driving, or Methodist, but I followed mine with a bellini. It was reasonably pleasant, though wouldn't be my default cocktail of choice. That said, it didn't exactly match the rather snobbish description Wikipedia gives. If I find a place that offers a bellini made with peach purée and prosecco, as opposed to peach schnapps and champagne (as advertised in Charlie Choy's menu), I shall try again.

Charlie Choy's would be a fantastic place to take people known to be picky, as the choice is wide, and obvious. The food was pretty good, on the whole. It's a pity it was so noisy and cramped.
stapsdoes101things: Pizza with '101' marked out in green pimento (101food)
Tony at Pizza Express

Why do I want to do this?

I like food. I much prefer eating decent food to eating boring food when I have the chance, and not having to a) think about it; and b) cook it; is something I very much enjoy.

How will I know I've done this?

I'll have eaten six meals (of at least two courses each) at restaurants. Two of these meals will have been eaten at restaurants I've not visited before.

I'll record this in posts in this journal.

[One - Charlie Choy's (new to me)] [Two - Jamie's Italian - new to me] [Three - Rumwong - new to me] [Four - Pizza Express] [Five - Da Mario's - new to me] [Six - Shabab Pavilion - new to me] [bonus Seven - Safran - new to me]

August 2013

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