This time it was my turn to chose the venue. I did a bit of research and decided that Galvin La Chapelle was conveniently located for John to get home to Saffron Walden and for me to get home after an afternoon in the City.
I’m normally a bit disappointed when choosing City places – usually high prices and not special food – but this turned out to be a very pleasant exception – an extremely good meal. Not cheap, but good value for the quality of food,
My turn to chose the venue meant it was John’s turn to pick up the tab. Many thanks John.
John came round to see 41 Lothbury on the way – he’d not been to our new (not so new any more) offices yet.
Then we wandered in the direction of La Chapelle. I thought we might go to Balls Brothers on Bishopsgate, not knowing that it is now a building site.
So we had a quick drink in the ever-reliable George Pub, on the junction of Liverpool Street.
It was there I told him about Janie’s new hobby, pole dancing. I also showed him the photo Janie had sent me on the Monday.
The above news and views seemed to lighten John’s mood considerably.
We then had a lengthy debate about whether we were less than five minutes from La Chapelle (as John thought) or more than that (as I thought). Mr Googlemap said six minutes but John decided that means less than five at our walking pace.
But by gosh it was worth the five-and-a-half minute walk, it really was.
John started with the velouté, while I had a crab lasagne starter. John went on to the mushroom risotto while I went for the duck. John tried the cheeses after, while I tried the cheesecake.
Truly excellent food and (after a slightly slow start) very charming and superb service.
John was a big hit with the waitress who brought the bread, charming her with bread facts, such as:
- in the old days the bakers’ sweat was part of the enzyme process that brought the yeast to life and thus gave the bread its texture and flavour;
- the phrase “sent to Coventry” comes from bakers being expelled from their guild and prohibited from practicing within 100 miles of London. This second “bread fact” does not stand up to Wikipedia scrutiny, which prefers the Civil War rationale.
When the same waitress turned out to be the cheese waitress, John considered mugging up on some cheese facts as well, but I suggested that it would be a better, more self-effacing ploy to admit to knowing little about cheese. This tactic did seem to work pretty well and the waitress confessed that she too was new to the cheese duties, but then went on to explain the cheeses in great detail.
You get the picture; it was a fabulous meal and I always enjoy such evenings with John even when the food is less fabulous. So this one was well-memorable.