A few weeks ago, we went for a very unpleasant birthday meal at The Lodekka pub in Bristol. Since then, one reader of my blog, namely Simon, pointed out to me that I should not be surprised to have been served up rubbish, haven chosen to eat in Bristol.
You will all then be surprised that yesterday we decided to return to the same pub for our Christmas meal. Why did we decide to eat at the place which served me something so foul? The simple answer – we had already booked and paid for the festive dinner.
So how was it? The fact I am blogging the following day shows I haven’t been poisoned to death. I am not blogging from a hospital bed either (I know the wards are equipped with WiFi these days). The most surprising thing about the whole evening was the quality of the meal!
The head chef at the pub had clearly read my critical review the other week, sacked his colleagues, replacing them with trained chefs, before taking a basic cookery class himself. Yes, it was edible. I would even call it “OK”. Oh what the hell, it’s Christmas! The meal was NICE.
I’ve been for many Christmas dinners in the past with work and to be blunt, they haven’t been very pleasant at all. I seem to recall blogging about them all, so a quick dig through the archives will show you what I mean. This one, however, pleased me.
Yes the starter of tomato soup could have been from a tin, but the main was really hot, well cooked and accompanied by the biggest Yorkshire pudding I have ever seen. Mick McCarthy (the most northern man on the planet) would be proud of it. To top it all off was the dessert. A bowl of custard with a slab of deep-fried Christmas pudding in the middle, and I normally HATE Christmas pudding! The fact this calorific treat was covered in molten fat made all the difference. I’ll try not to think about what it has done to my insides. My arteries have only recovered from that battered Mars Bar I had in Grimsby two years ago.
Friday was my lovely fiancée, Claire’s birthday. To celebrate, we went out for a meal. I would like to say that we visited a tranquil, romantic restaurant and dined upon the finest foods that money can buy. Instead we sat on a dirty table in a corner of busy bistro pub, surrounded by screaming children.
Things didn’t go that well from the start. After finally getting to our table, the waitress said she would come back and clean it for us. She failed to return. That should have been a warning.
We waited a while for our meal, although were not without entertainment. The wall immediately next to our table was being used to screen Wallace & Gromit. After watching ‘A Close Shave’ two and a half times (on mute), the the food arrived. I had been adventurous and ordered the chicken skewers. I often worry about eating chicken, for fear of it being underdone. No chance here. The meat must have been cooked for days, as it was completely dry and tasteless. Any juices and flavours had long since been burnt away. The wooden board it was served on looked more moist.
After hacking at the dish for what seemed like an eternity, I gave up and started on the chips. I had taken so long trying to consume the inedible chicken, that the chips had gone cold. I asked for a refund, describing the dish to the poor and embarrassed waitress as “disgusting”. That’s my rant over, but a big sad face for The Lodekka ‘Hungry Horse’ pub in Bristol. 🙁
I did plan to write about my entire weekend in this one blog post, but time and tiredness have got the better of me, so I’ll be heading up to bed now. Tomorrow will be Part 2 of my weekend blog, which involves watching football, a trip to the studios of Strictly Come Dancing (kind of) and erecting a Christmas tree. Hehehe. I said erect.
Dan came back to Bath on Saturday. Sadly, it was just for the weekend and not to move back into his basement flat, where he once lived a life not dissimilar to that of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Only his “precious” was AV equipment. Since leaving Bath, Dan has gone to live in London. A very different place to Somerset.
Dan, John and I went to Bathampton for out lunch. There is a nice pub there; The George, which sits by the canal path. The thought of food and drink in the sun was very tempting. Unfortunately, upon arrival at The George, we were ‘greeted’ by the rudest waitress I have ever met. She was just like Basil Fawlty, only with a bigger moustache.
After eating our meal or curried chicken skewers (indoors – the waitress wouldn’t let us sit outside), we met Simon. A further pub, The Boathouse, was visited for more drinks. This blog really makes my Saturday sound like a boozy pub crawl. Unfortunately, at this point, my drink count was a massive ONE. A pint of Stowford Press cider.
The evening was spent at mine. It was like old times. Retro games were played. Namely Super Bomberman 2 – which I was rubbish at. Goldeneye – which I was rubbish at. Mario Kart – which I was good at, because everyone else was rubbish. The only difference between the gaming at my flat in 2012 and the gaming at Dan’s flat in 2005, was that John was not thrown across the room by Dan, onto a family bucket of KFC, as was a weekly tradition a few years ago. Shame.
Run For Fun?
Every Sunday I make the short walk to the local newsagents to buy myself a copy of The Non-League Paper. This is the definitive Sunday newspaper. Who needs the red tops with their stories on what in-law Ryan Giggs is shagging, when you can read match reports on mediocre football games involving Bath City, Luton Town and Bristol Manor Farm.
This week, I was distracted on the way to collecting my newspaper. The roadside was cordoned off with barriers. Stewards patrolled the pavements and the occasional police officer stood on a street corner. What was going on? Had the London riots finally made their way to Bath? No. It was the annual Bath Half Marathon. An event where thousands of people run miles around the city. They’re mad. Fair play to them though. They no doubt raise a lot of money for charity and it must be very hard work. Shamefully, in the five years I have occupied my flat, on the marathon route, I have not ventured out of my front door to watch or cheer the runners. It’s a bit too much effort.
Free Bus Pass?
On Monday it was my birthday. Didn’t get me a present? No worries. Would have been nice. Seriously, no worries. It wasn’t noticed. Much. Belated gifts are still acceptable, especially if they’re of the iPad variety. It was one of those supposedly milestone birthdays, which saw me turn 30. Like when I was 18 and 21, I didn’t have a party. After the Burger King Kids Club told me I was too old on my 16th, I vowed never to have a birthday party again ever. So do I feel different? No. Am I too old to run a marathon? I couldn’t before. Am I grumpy? I was before. Can I get on buses for free? Nope. Not for another 35-fucking years. Special birthday, my arse.
Fuck Wit Dre Day
I caught the X39 bus into town this afternoon. I made the mistake in forgetting that most students finish their working day before 2pm. As a result, the bus was full all the shits that had spilled out of a nearby college. One particularly annoying student was sat in front of me wearing a pair of comically oversized headphones. Being “down wit da kids” I was able to identify these as those Dre Beats headphones everyone keeps going on about, and not a pair of Princes Leia earmuffs. He looked ridiculous. Who does he think he is? Emmanuel Frimpong? How much do these headphones cost? Not cheap, I bet. £500? No doubt Dr. Dre’s latest sucker will be protesting about increased tuition fees and how he can’t afford to pay them. Of course he bloody can’t, he’s paying Dr. Dre’s pension by wearing those stupid things on his head. Wanker.
On Sunday evening, John, Simon, his mate Tim and I went to Bristol. We had bought tickets way back in the summer to see Frankie Boyle live at the Colston Hall. On the way there, we stopped to get something to eat at Nandos in Longwell Green.
After eating our fill of chicken, we began our trip deep into Bristol. Even before we had got to the car park, we knew things weren’t right. A young child stood alone by himself and emptied the entire contents of an oversized water pistol into a cash machine kiosk, while either his parents or passers by stood and laughed… to be fair, we did the same.
A short drive from the trainee bank robber, took us to Trenchard Street, directly opposite the Colston Hall. With lots of time to kill before Frankie Boyle started his act, we decided to look for somewhere to drink. We looked at the Colston Hall bar, but were put off by the customers handing over £50 notes for a few drinks and not receiving any change… very expensive. Had I wanted to be robbed in the middle of the day, I would have got my iPhone out in front of the dodgy looking gang in the street.
Despite spending many of my early years living in Bristol, I do not know my way around the city, especially when it comes to pubs – to be fair, I moved to Bath when I was 10, so was far too young to drink, even by Bristolian’s standards.
Tim led us to a nice looking place dubbed ‘the oldest pub in Bristol’. I say ‘nice looking’; it looked good from the outside. Once we walked in, I realised we had made a mistake. It was a rough, biker’s pub. There may well have been blood, vomit and teeth on the floor – I didn’t check. What I did notice was what looked like a crack addict stoned out his mind in a chair. I was scared and almost soiled myself.
We drank outside in the beer garden. It wasn’t exactly a beer garden. More like a patio surrounded by tall, spiked fencing. I felt like an animal at Bristol Zoo. It was unclear if the fence was to keep those on the streets out of the pub or those in the pub off the streets.
I quickly drank my Thatcher’s cider (the one blessing of the horrible establishment) before running through the pub at great speed.
By the time we had escaped and made our way back to the relative safety of the Colston Hall, it was almost time for Frankie…
Frankie Boyle’s tour is called I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face. Given the title, as well as Boyle’s past material and reputation, I expected a show full of controversy and offensive material.
I was not wrong. I will not repeat the jokes on here. Firstly, I do not have the comic skills to deliver them in the manner in which he does. I probably wouldn’t get away with them either and would no doubt be branded a sick and twisted bastard… a bit like Frankie Boyle.
Let’s just say some of his sickest jokes involved Jade Goody, Peter Andre and Katie Price’s kid Harvey, Baby P, Madeline McCann and the slave trade. Oh, and yes, he did do THAT joke (which, by the way, I didn’t actually think was that funny and certainly far less offensive than his other stuff).
Overall, an enjoyable evening; but very, very dark, crude and offensive. If you like comedy that pushes the boundaries, not only to the edge, but totally over to the other side; or you simply have a heart of stone and are not offended by anything whatsoever, then this show is for you. Otherwise, stick to the ever so nice, and equally funny, Russell Howard.
This evening I met up with old acquaintances from the RUH. It was the leaving party for the two RA Agents, Doug and Adrian.
We started the night with a trip to The Ocean Pearl – an ‘all you can eat’ Chinese restaurant, or as I liked to refer to it – ‘eat as much as you can’.
Being a fussy eater, I stuck mostly to noodles, green beans and chips – followed by vast quantities of ice cream and jelly. As someone pointed out, I could have ordered a roast dinner from a nearby pub and had a similar meal.
I think I got my money’s worth, though, and hopefully cost them more than the £11.50 I paid to dine there.
After consuming nearly the whole restaurant, we went out for a few drinks, which I struggled with due to the large meal earlier!
It’ll probably be a good idea to go to bed now. Despite being home for over an hour, I’ve stayed up messing about on the laptop and chatting on MSN. Bath City are away in Basingstoke tomorrow, so I’ll need sleep before I travel.
On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.
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