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Dr John Hawkins

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Passport to Pimlico

Posted on 2008/09/07 17:25:32 (September 2008).

[Saturday 6th September]
Both Chie and I were feeling quite lethargic, so we didn't leave the flat at all in the daytime. When dinnertime started to loom we realised we didn't really have much in to cook (and were feeling too lazy to cook anyway) so decided to go and eat out.

Amazingly there are actually a couple of British restaurants within walking distance of where we live. I'd previously given these particular places a wide berth, given that they're close to an area which is full of "cheap" hotels, and therefore I thought them to be places for foreign tourists who, despite all the bad press our cuisine gets overseas, were determined to try it for themselves. Thanks to encouragement from Chie though we did manage to pluck up the courage to go in to one of them, and I'm rather pleased we did.

So, we dined at Chimes, which describes itself as an "English restaurant and wine bar". I was a little uneasy to start with at the notion of a place which was in part a wine bar, but on closer inspection I found the drinks menu to be really rather fascinating, and quite possibly the strongest asset of this place. They had all sorts of interesting traditional English drinks on there - including ciders, perries, English wine, "country" wines, fruit wines, and even mead. We started out with a jug of English perry, and I later had a glass of "silver birch wine" - both were very good indeed, and really rather reasonably priced. A very refreshing change from the usual formulaic wine menus you find in restaurants.

They had a map on the wall detailing the "Vineyards of England" (including Polmassick which we visited this summer). My Dad has a very similar map on the wall in his house, and I suppose that added to the appeal of this place.

The food was pretty good too. I think I probably enjoyed my starter the most - a baked Somerset brie served with a kind of ratatouille. That was very good. My main course - a vegetable pie - wasn't bad I suppose, but I think I preferred my starter.

All in all a very good experience, I'd happily go again.

Rather appropriately, back at the flat after dinner we decided to watch Passport to Pimlico. Chie had got it recently from Love Film. Several people had suggested we should watch it, and it had taken us until now to actually get round to it.

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say I loved it, I suppose humour has changed somewhat over the years. Although having said that I spent some time finishing off the Monty Python (auto)biography today, and it occurred to me Python is now very nearly 40 years old.

Anyway, I suppose Passport to Pimlico was quite charming in places, and I particularly enjoyed the joke right at the end of the film - it was almost as if the entire rest of the film was just a build up for that one gag, and I at least was ready to take my hat off to them for it.

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