Tuesday, 20 July 2010

It's Steak Dear...

How often do you stay in a hotel and there's only one option on the menu? I have to say, in my adult life, I don't think I've come across this. But then, I haven't eaten out in rural Ireland before.

Yup, that's what happened to Mr Norman and I in a country house by Connemara lake recently. On arrival we were asked if we had any dietary needs, but basically, it was salmon, followed by steak, followed by choccy pud. I'm not complaining, but I wouldn't dare serve that up. It's not very imaginative is it? I know that's hypocritical, because I'll happily eat it.

It was a spectacular house - a mansion with dark oak panels and tiger skins adorning the walls of the main staircase. There was a tremendously handsome and friendly 'laird' (for want of a better term!) called Henry who greeted us with the clear blue eyes and black hair of some Irish lush like, I dunno, Cillian Murphy. There were also two very old ladies who stooped over double serving us our dinner. We were a little bit in time-gone-by heaven.

But what if you don't like steak, salmon or chocolate? In England, we pander too much to people now, perhaps?

We ate it all anyway, and then had a benedictine in the lounge. And that's another thing, we love ordering that. The barman always raises a confused eyebrow and gets a step ladder to reach a bottle down, while dusting it off...


  1. Benedictine! The drink of Kings. I like to order that on occasion, as well as Drambuie, another "blow the dust off the bottle" classic.

    I do think a lot of British hotels over-do the menu, adding eight or nine options to impress, which usually arrive at least half an hour late, by which time you're starving. But still, one option is rather too limited. I wouldn't have minded what was available personally but Amanda, who is allergic to fish, may have felt differently.

  2. You did, of course, drink some lager too. It wouldn't be a Norman social occasion without it...

  3. I know, for example I was thinking of a good friend of mine who's so fussy , she'll be presented with a pizza menu as long as her arm but would only ever eat the margherita. I'm not blessed with fussy eating thankfully. I should point out this was a high-end place to stay (more than £200 a night anyway) so it seemed surprising to have a fawlty towers menu. We loved it for that though. The Mrs Overall women bought what was left of the meat and potatoes over for us to finish too and seemed delighted Mr Norman could squeeze more in. Haw!

    And Matt, we didn't! We were too busy quaffing the quality of wine you only dare fork out for on holiday. Beer will suffice down The Phoenix however.

  4. Two steaks? More salmon?

    Honestly no choice sounds like bliss.

    I hate having to choose anything, much rather being given something.

    That's why I like Lovefilm. It tells you what film to watch next.

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