Monday, March 22, 2010

Twilight Alehouse

I've been decamped in my favourite hotel on the outskirts of Oswestry for the past four nights. Just to be clear, it's my favourite hotel on the outskirts of Oswestry, not my favourite hotel. It's always a sticky wicket when you talk about your work on blogs - customer, employer and employee confidentiality and all that - suffice to say we've spent usual ridiculous hours deploying our latest software masterpiece onto the Great British telephone network.

Each evening the team has flicked coins to decide where to eat. Except for Friday night, when we were too knackered after the drive up, so we ate in the hotel restaurant. And Saturday night, when we were too knackered after a 12 hour shift and got back so late that the only place we could go was the hotel restaurant.

At least the six of us got out last night, but then the majority vote went with a trip to the Simla Tandoori in downtown Oswestry. It's a decent enough place, and my Jalfrezi was perfectly palatable, but it seemed a waste of an expenses-paid opportunity.

With half the team heading back to Kent at lunchtime, the three of us who remained behind were able to finish the last bits of work at a sensible time and head to one of our preferred hostelries, the White Lion in Whittington. There's always plenty of mouth-watering dishes on the menu, and a nice guest ale to wash it down with. So I was a tad surprised and disappointed to walk in there tonight and see Shepherd Neame's Spitfire on tap. This ale is synonymous with Kent, where SN own about 50% of the pubs (probably not that many, but it certainly feels like it) - it's a not unpleasant beer, but I certainly wouldn't drive halfway up England for it. Still, the food was lovely.

We set off home straight after breakfast tomorrow. I've really missed the family and I believe they've missed me - apparantly Oliver won't play with his train set without me, and Emma is asking whether I'm bringing her a present back. I'll have to pick up some motorway service area tut on the way back to make up for my absence. And probably a nice bottle of Burgundy for Lin too.

My only dilemma now is whether after four nights away I can get away with going to band practice on Wednesday night. We're meant to be working on Carpet Crawlers this week, so I think they might miss my arpeggios if I'm not there.