Saturday, 13 October 2007

The big catch-up: the Front, the Fridge, and more

Too much to blog about! It's been a very busy couple of days on the food front. On Friday I revisited Bahrat for lunch (goat vindaloo, yum); Satis for coffee; had dinner at Delissio; and drinks and a show at the Front. And today I went and got a new fridge and had lunch at the George Harcourt. I think I'll write a separate post about dinner tonight; it deserves its own title as you will see...

I've already reviewed Bahrat and Satis, and I remain happy to revisit them regularly. I don't think I can do Delissio justice - we were a large group there for a birthday, and we had a banquet meal of assorted antipasti, pizza, pasta and risotto. I don't have a bad word to say, but banquets are always intended to please a wide variety of tastes, and come from the unchallenging end of the menu. The service was very good, and the food was all very well made. The calamari was crisp-battered and tender; the crumbed spiced olives very more-ish; there was an excellent silky fresh pasta. I would be very interested in returning to try it out in a smaller group.

And ah, the Front! This little gallery-cafe-bar in Lyneham shops is hosting the most interesting events. Yesterday night "Red Shoes presents Tableaux Vivants", and it was a beautiful night! Because of the birthday dinner, we were late, and missed the first hour or so. But we still saw Gypsy Noir, Tom Woodward, Andi & George, and an assortment of the Tableaux Vivants or 'Living Pictures' - a 19th century artform featuring poses by silent nudes, in styles echoing classics of art history. Tiana was a very Goya Nude Maja. Four members of the band posed angelically with their instruments, one tableaux reminiscent of an Ingres cello-girl. They were accompanied by gentle live music - koto and violin, Andi singing to the guitar. The room was full of people sketching the tableaux - even I gave it a go and managed one not-too-dreadful portrait. The audience was wonderfully dressed - tutus, corsets, steampunk, vintage fashion. I felt rather underdone in my black and gold brocade.

It was sad to come back to reality, but it has to happen. Today we had a big run out to Bunnings to hire a trolley, and thence to collect a second hand fridge which I bought from a friend's parents. It's huge! It fits into our fridge space with a little width to spare, but no height. I'm happy to have it - but of course I've spent the day schlepping fridges and contents of fridges about. We were pretty weary and hungry after the major haulage bit, and went to the George Harcourt for a beer and some lunch. I'm not wild about this place, though I don't mind the occasional visit if we happen to be out that way. The food is pretty low-end catering - the cheapest mass-market pickles and cheese in the ploughman's lunch; burgers of pre-made frozen patties. Peh. Though, y'know, edible. And the decor is a kitsch pastiche of an English pub: mock Tudor with chamberpots and teacups hanging from the fake beams. On the good side, it does have a nice beer garden out the back, with plenty of shady trees and climbing plants, and it has a few decent beers on tap. And the decor can be amusing if you're in the right frame of mind.

No comments: