Monday, March 09, 2009

theo randall and the faff of the green/orange/pink bag

Warning: This blog entry is about a Girls Night out. And handbags. And Girl Friendly Cocktails. And a chickflick. And other lawyer-esque neuroses that only LG and I will fully appreciate. It may cause extreme headaches, more confusion about the female species (if you're not female) or a feeling of extreme boredom. Read at your own peril.

I'm not usually this indecisive. And it surprised me that we had stood in the Longchamp shop for more than 30 minutes having the green bag/orange bag/pink bag debate, much to the amusement of the shop assistant who was trying not to snigger. It was a very thought out debate I will have you know - the merits of each were weighted in very logical manner - mostly by LG. I'm just flappy and I had gone in just wanting the orange bag. We left with two orange bags. So much for the very long green bag/ orange bag/ pink bag debate. Though now I might save up to get a second green one.

Anyway. Dinner at theo randalls beckoned. LG had enticed me out with an evening of her fabulous company, and a chick flick. While LG's company was more than enough to entice me out, I reckoned I couldn't do the chick flick without a nice dinner and a couple of cocktails at least for strength and courage. Plus I'm grumpy when I'm hungry. grumpy rachel is best avoided.

LG is fabulousness personified. I've known her since we were fourteen, and at the risk of embarrassing her, she's always been one of my models of how-to-be-sensible-and-grown-up-and-totally-fabulous. Very good for someone as flappy and juvenile as me. Plus, she's one of the few people who will understand and have conversations with me about the importance of writing detailed and structured holiday itineraries (with space for spontaneity within reason), the joy of standardized filing labels and why organising your clothes by genre, colour and hanger type is completely normal behaviour. And the best way to mark-up and tag documents. But she's also one of the girlfriends I may have to kill one day because she-knows-too-much.

We had decided to go for the toptable offer menu instead of the full a la carte. More money for cocktails we thought. We started with their house apertivos - proseco with apero and blood orange puree, with bits of floating blood orange sorbet. A tad sweet perhaps, but it was a Girls Night Out and we were entitled on occasion to overly sweet Girl Friendly Cocktails.

I was glad LG decided to go for the ravioli with sage, spinach and ricotta, because I wanted that too, but I also wanted the seafood risotto. Risotto is such comfort food - the stuff you eat with a duvet on the sofa and a book and lots of black pepper. I loved the smooth, luscious grains of cannaroli, swathed in fishy stock, studded with bits of mussels, calamari, cockles and salmon. LG's ravioli was beautiful - pasta pockets with the right shade of thinness, and a delicate sage, spinach and ricotta filling which seemed to get the balance right between the cheese and the spinach.

I was trying to convince LG of my very potted version of wine pricing theory which I thought I read somewhere once - that restaurants screw you with the second cheapest and the second most expensive glasses of wine. It's human nature - people don't want to be seen as being overly cheap, so they shun the cheapest selection and go for the tier up. Or they don't want to be seen as overly flash and spending the highest amount on wine, so the go for the one just below. And restaurants are entitled to use that bit of human psychology to their benefit and impose the highest mark-ups on those two bands. But I suppose it's just my potted theory. LG very wisely ignored me, and also decided to ignore the sommelier and went for a second glass of the proseco cocktail. I had to eat my words when the sommelier recommended the second cheapest glass of red - I suppose I was mesmerized by his ravings about how it would raise my meal to transcendental heights and complete my experience of eating the medium rare fillet with salsa verde and rocket. I exaggerate. It was nice. Young, but relatively full bodied and wouldn't overpower the steak. That's what the sommelier said I think. But maybe he was just screwing with me. I've found this article in the Harvard Law Recorder that explains my potted theory with much more articulately.

We somehow pottered our way through the puddings - a lemon tart and a chocolate cake, both served with crème fraiche, which we drew lines down the middle and switched plates halfway. I find it's the best way - territorial pudding lines - to preserve friendship between girlfriends. Avoids the you-ate-more-chocolate-cake-than-me fight. But I suppose LG's much too sensible to ever have that fight with me.

the chick flick wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I suppose I had set my standards so low I couldn't possibly have been disappointed. Or maybe I'm just flappy and in need of some brainless entertainment. We tottered to cocoon for cocktails after, which were brilliant - a little mandatory flirting-with-the-barman-who-is-making-us-the-cocktails-and-throwing-his-shaker-around-with-such-needless-panache. All a little bit of harmless fun and more Girl Friendly Cocktails. It's the only way to end a Girls Night Out.


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