Last year we started a new tradition of eating our New Years Eve dinner at the Chesil Restaurant in Winchester. Last year the food was fantastic and so it seemed only fair that we should do the same thing this year. It’s also the only way to make it a tradition because only once is never enough.
It was also a special New Years Eve because we had Denise and Bob with us.
It was the end of a lovely day. We’d spent the morning waiting for the weather to improve then drove down to Chawton to see Jane Austen’s house.
This is one of those things that we force on all of our visitors but it’s rare that it’s when there’s a threat of torrential rain, a threat that was more than adequately carried out while we were roaming the rooms. In fact, the rain was so hard and heavy that we almost moved in.
But then, just as we were finishing, the rain stopped, allowing us egress into the pub…another place we make everyone visit. Which reminds me, there seems to be a misunderstanding about me. I DON’T know every pub in England. Quite a few, possibly but not ALL of them!
But this one I certainly do know. Bob and I stood at a rather high table and enjoyed a pint of Pride each while Mirinda and Denise sat at a two seat table drinking…well, something that wasn’t beer.
Eventually a table for four appeared like the proverbial welcoming mirage and we all sat together for a second drink. Well, I had a second drink. Bob had a half pint while Denise and Mirinda had nothing.
While we sat and discussed the more important events that will keep 2017 branded on our minds forever, I found an interesting little tome on a nearby window sill full of other fascinating books (including a bound book of someone’s plate and the value and provenance of same). I was very tempted to read to the others from one but resisted. I might have to try and find a copy of this one though, in order to record a series of extracts on this blog.
I have to say, our little visit at The Greyfriars was very pleasant. There were lots of dogs and jolly (and sometimes eccentric) locals making the place alive with fun. There was the rather unhappy chap who entered with his saturated but still happy dog, both of whom had obviously been caught in the downpour but other than them, the place was alive with joy. And beer.
It was a splendid afternoon adventure but we were soon on our way back home where we did various things waiting for the time to arrive when we would depart for Winchester. Repeating half our journey we lickety split arrived at the Chesil in time for a cocktail in the bar before sitting down to a delicious meal.
Having eaten and been entertained by a group playing Cards Against Humanity (thank you Bex and Lex) at the big table next to us, we decided that Mirinda needed a short walk to clear her head. We walked up to Alfred the Great to say “Happy new year!” before collecting Max and going home.
Midnight found us on the A31 with no cars for miles. It was the emptiest we’ve ever seen the road between Farnham and Winchester. In fact in the whole time we were driving, we passed three cars.
“Extraordinary,” exclaimed Mirinda.