[Cripes alorky! Everyone look busy. In a first for this blog, Mrs Del Monte is putting pen to paper. Mind your Ps and Qs, tuck your shirt in, tie your laces, drag a comb through your hair, push the outie belly button in. Chin up, chest out. If she asks, I blog every day, dutifully, like a Trojan.]
Boisdale. Pronounced as it looks. Don’t be tempted to Frenchify it, no matter how like an all-male folk dance troupe it sounds – it’s a Scottish restaurant. One pretension too far. Just the one though; you see pretentiousness already seeps out of its every redpainted wall, Highlands landscape and dusty bottle of whisky. Whiskey.
I went with husband Del Monte [That’s me! I’m him. Me, me, me!] for a night off from the quotidian Del Monte menu of sausage-based cuisine for a vaguely Valentine’s (same week) foray into zone 1. Because Del Monte junior leeches our every hardearned penny, that wily, conniving two-year-old, I nailed a deal from the Travelzoo app for a £40 three-courser with Prosecco (one glass).
“You get what you pay for,” is the phrase that thumped through my head continually over the course of the evening. That, along with “punished are the paupers.” From the string of curt emails in advance daring me to forget my voucher and PIN, to the hatchet-faced receptionist with her None Shall Pass attitude to our very own bubble of complete invisibility, it was truly a second class citizen experience. How we gazed with surprise, then no surprise, at the fawning multitudes of staff who heaped consideration after consideration on the tables of our betters. How we questioned, then didn’t question, why we were being denied attention, an offer to refill, a piece of bread. Even when we asked. Twice.
How we held back a gasp when our gallant waiter, as yet incognizant of our status, guided us to our table with flowery gestures and gracious banter, eased into our hands the huge, thick menu – only to snatch it back, simper turned scowl, and replace them with a flimsy notecard heavily letterheaded TRAVELZOO.
The food: Haggis for Del Monte, smoked kippers for me. Sadly not smoked, but raw, with added “smoked” flavour . The main – squished up chicken mince in cylindrical towers. Not a favourite, but it was 10pm and I was pretty hungry, so ate a few bites, until I started thinking “chicken mince.” Pudding – a turd-shaped squelch of not particularly chocolatey mousse, lumps of honeycomb that turned to jawcracking grit and a floppy brandy snap that tasted of fridge.
The music was nice.
£40 for the deal plus £52 for four drinks. Happy unValentine’s Day.
LOCH NESS MONSTROUS!