Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Gem In The Craig of Hall

After my past weekend of basically setting up camp there, I have realised that I have a favourite restaurant/ pub. It may have to do with the owner being a good friend of mine. That everybody who works there knows and loves me. That it has the atmosphere of being just like the main pub in a small English town. Or that it just really is a good place.

It’s great because of its perfect burgers and great chicken curry.

It has the perfect bar area. Everything is relaxed. Happy. “Pub-like”. There against its counter, with its peanuts & smiling barman. Where I can hide away in one of its recesses and have wonderful bar talks with one of my Good Guy Friends over our pints of Stella & plate of chips. Where you will always receive at least one compliment from an old guy parking off on his barstools, “Hey, pretty lass” or “Move aside for the beautiful lady” and all.

It may have to do with when my car broke down conveniently right outside its front door at 6pm on Friday after an atrocious week, they had a double GnT poured for me within 1 minute of me stepping foot inside their cosy little haven. This was gulped down between moments of begging the AA (Automobile Association, that is!) to “please just send someone. Really, it can’t matter that much that I am not a member. My brother is…I’ll just use his membership”.
“I’m sorry ma’am but unless he is with you it does not count and, as you say, he is in the UK.”
"EXACTLY!! He’s not even in the same country, he won’t be needing it!!”
“Ma’am, why don’t you just go and wait in that restaurant and we’ll send someone, but you’ll have to buy our R500 membership when he arrives.”
….Never has a wait for the AA & paying over R500 that I don’t have been so easy, there in my little gem in the Craig of Hall.

Sunday mornings, though, could possibly be my best moments. My friend usually is running himself silly, unable to ever sit still unless his plate of hashbrowns has arrived and is just starting to get cold. And so I often end up half snoozing in the sun on my own, ‘cept for my cappuccino, there on their deck, just watching the other clientele. The man with his newspaper and a table full of a greasy fried-up breakfast. The walkers who arrive and wonder if 10.30am is too early to order their first pint? Never here, here it is never too early! Or the cyclists who arrive still in their kits sporting bumps and bulges that are far too obscene for that time of morning, out for their health breakfast. I contemplate getting the paper to entertain me, but that would just require too much effort.

And so my friend finally sits down and we speak in mocking Toffy accents about “playing tennis at The Club, Daarhling” and “Bernard, my boy, please DO pass our compliments to the chef”. Bernard rolls his eyes and thinks “Bluddy kids” and brings more coffee.

This is my happy place. In future, in yoga class, when they tell me to meditate on my happy place, forget the sunny beach with lapping waves, or cool forest with birds, this is where I will go.

7 comments:

spoon said...

you're a happy barfly with a yoga problem!

TwoFlower said...

ooohhhh, this bar sounds awesome! do i dare ask where it is? i desperately need to find a new watering hole seeing as i just can't seem to find anywhere to go that i haven't been to before for the millionth time....

as for your car not starting - it happened to me on SUnday and nothing would get it started so i too had to become a member of the AA just so that they would send someone out on MOnday. best my car behaves from now on!!!

peanut said...

so spit it out, where is it? Giles?

Champagne Heathen said...

Spoon - I wish I had a yoga problem. Could you just imagine how toned, supple and 'centred' I'd be!!

2F - my car is being serviced as we speak.
"What's wrong with it?"
"Uuuuh, it jerked a lot like this [Imagine Champs jerking back & forth] and makes this tic tic tic noise. Then it just died. Then it started when the AA guy rocked up. I don't know. Please just fix it.".
Service guy just thought, "Bluddy women & cars".

And to anyone else who reads this with a smirk on their face - YES! It had petrol and oil in the car when it just stopped!!!

The thing is, if I let you all know where this place is, then you might come and crowd my serenity!! But...Peanut... you might be very well onto something there, maybe a little too well on!! ;o)

Dave said...

Giles? That place has been around for well over a decade. Didn't realise it was still going, was probably there about 12 years ago, don't they have a cartoon theme?

Champagne Heathen said...

Indeed they do! And yes, 12 years exactly. Good memory.

Very sad story amongst it all, as the owner was shot and killed last November. His kids took it over and them and the staff, who are treasured there, have done an excellent job at keeping the same vibe and atmosphere going.

Buzzing'Fly said...

Ahh Awesome Champs, glad to see you back and @ it girl. I also wanna know where this place is... sounds like my cup of tea. And i trust your judgement/taste champs so.. i kno ill like it...

Not even gonna get started on my Japop of a car and breaking down *sigh*, least u broke down @ a mighty conveinient spot.. he he ;)