I have never been one to celebrate Valentine’s day, and not just because Tom would be the only person who I could celebrate it with. But I have grown up seeing my parents only ever exchange cards, teaching us that you should use every day to show people that you love them. Also, if you end up going out on Valentine’s, everywhere is always overcrowded, expensive and the service is usually poor because of how busy everything is. Call me a cynic but I honestly don’t see the point. I would much rather stay at home with a nice bottle of wine and a home-cooked meal, but then again I am often called a grandma.
Now, we kind of ended up having an impromptu date night the day before Valentine’s day because for my birthday my parents gifted me a voucher to use at the Theatre Royal Bath and we used them to go and see Dial M for Murder. We ended up making a night for it, going out for dinner and drinks before the performance.
I left Tom in charge of picking the restaurant. Due to the cold weather, he opted for The Stable so that we can have pizzas and pies. We shared a delicious bottle of South African Sauvignon Blanc, it was crispy and fresh and began with the Pot of Gold as a sharing starter. A cider infused pot of melted cheese with toasted sourdough slices for dipping — it was delectable. The sourdough was light and fluffy, the cider and the cheese complimented the flavour without overpowering it.
The waitress then brought out Tom’s lam roast pizza and my chicken and ham hock pie. We did it odd that our starter wasn’t cleared when the mains were brought over to the table but continued. Tom enjoyed his pizza, never having thought to put mint sauce on the pizza, but because of the roast lamb pieces, it worked superbly. My chicken pie was filled fully, came with tomato chutney jam that worked well with the flavours of the chicken and the ham hock. All the portions were exactly the right size, leaving us satisfied.
The food was delicious there was absolutely no doubt about that. And I am not usually one to complain but the service was completely abysmal. At no point throughout the visit were we checked on, none of the plates or glasses was cleared until we got up to pay. I could have understood if the place was rammed with people, or if it was ridiculously understaffed, but for five tables and four waitresses there really was no excuse, but enough about that.
We then headed to the theatre to catch Tom Chambers try and commit the perfect murder on his adulteress wife. From the first ten minutes, I was unsure as to whether this we would enjoy the performance but as soon as Tom walked onto the stage, he stole the show. I had only ever seen Sally Bretton in Not Going Out, so it was refreshing to see her play a serious character. But what made it so interesting was watching Tom Chambers’ character slowly explain how and why he was going to murder his wife. His exchanges between a school mate that he convinces to do the crime and the detective after was truly incredible. Jumping from being a doting husband to a sinister murderer in just a second. I won’t give the story away, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat and I wanted an outcome that I wouldn’t have expected.
So although I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, and we had planned this night mainly because the tickets were available for this day, I shall call it a pre-Valentine’s dinner.