Saturday 11 July 2020

Dining at the First Chance Restaurant

Last night, Mrs N and I returned to the restaurant where, all those weeks and months ago, we ate our last meal out before the country closed itself down. The resto had reopened the day before, but it felt very much like (re)opening night. After the inevitable temperature gun and hand sanitiser (complete with eye-rolling and conspiratorial smiles), we were warmly welcomed and shown to our table, and everything was just as it had always been – right down to the usual long thirsty wait for an aperitif, which then turned out to be the wrong one when it arrived. All went smoothly after that, however, and, despite the slightly more distanced tables, there was a general air of hilarity and good cheer, and of relief that the possibility of going out for a meal had at last been restored to us. The oysters, by the way, were excellent – but I shan't take you through the menu...

And thus we topped and tailed this most extraordinary period in our national life – one that I fancy future generations will look back on in bemusement as an act of willed social and economic self-harm. And there are still many who cannot get enough of it, including (according to polls) some 40 percent of the population who say they wouldn't be comfortable going out for a meal. Heaven help us all.

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