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.