The quest for fine food brought myself and Glenda to the beautiful surroundings of Hampshire.
On the short drive from our country pile to The Wedged Hat, Glenda felt the need to constantly change the radio settings that I had spent several hours perfecting. I was already annoyed by the time we turned in to the long gravelled drive.
The quaint pub was pleasing to the eye, a mixture of Edwardian charm and 80's Wimpey modernisation.
Upon entering the establishment, Glenda pointed out the mixture of modern art and Mediaeval faux ancestry, dotted about the building. I was aware of it, as I'd just stubbed my toe on a rather cumbersome suit of armour, propped in the porch.
Reeling from the searing pain shooting through my foot, we were greeted by Marta, the four foot tall Polish front of house manager, with a faint moustache.
She was very pleasant. Well myself and Glenda assumed she was pleasant, she constantly smiled at us as she waffled on in a mixture of her native language, and some hotch potch of broken faux-English that really made no sense.
We asked for a table, and after throwing blank looks between our gathering, we were shown through the bar, to the dining area.
A spacious and well laid out conservatory awaited us. The sunlight streaming through the glass was impressive, and on a beautiful summers day would leave one with a host of satisfying meal-time memories. But this was January, and the sunlight, although strong, belied the -4 degrees in the room.
With evidently no heaters on, we both decided not to remove our coats. Glenda also decided to keep her scarf on, I chose to remove mine, a decision I would later regret.
Sitting down we were introduced to Frank, a tall rakish man, with a grizzelled face, and drooping moustache, far bushier than Marta's. He would be our waiter.
Asking immediately if we were ready to order, I pointed out that we hadn't seen the menu. He grunted and span around, walking hastily out in to the main pub area, I think as much to keep warm as to fetch our hymn sheets for the meal.
Returning, he passed us a menu, and told us we would have to share, as the chef had only printed one this week. When he left us again to peruse the menu, Glenda pointed out he was now wearing a duffel coat.
And a scarf.
The menu was, at best, mixed. French haute cuisine sat along side Indian dishes, and several lesser known English mains.
For starter I chose a rather interesting sounding aubergine and mint bruschette, Glenda wanted the deep fried Camembert.
For mains I plumped for a Kangaroo sautées en crevettes saumure and Glenda wanted a rib-eye and chips.
After searching for Frank in the bar area, we eventually found him standing outside having a cigarette. Tutting at our intrusion, he followed us back to our table, putting his coat back on as he came.
He jotted down our order and suggested that we went to the bar to get a drink as the chef had not arrived yet, he was mending his car at the side of the road a few miles away.
We ventured through, passing an old man sipping a beer, and a cat licking his balls. That is to say the cat was licking itself, not the old man, you understand.
Marta was behind the bar, and we asked to see the wine menu. She began pouring me a Fosters. Glenda asked again for the wine menu, and got a pint of Fosters. In a handle.
We wandered back to our table with our pints. The man was now licking the cat.
Some two hours later, and six pints each, our starters arrived. The aubergine was soft and sweet, with a faint hint of motor oil. The bruschette was solid. Like a piece of warm slate. It was garnished with a polo, the kitchen had apparently run out of fresh mint.
Glenda was equally impressed to find that the charred black balls on her plate, contained molten Dairy Lea, not the promised Camembert. It was served with a red sauce, that we initially assumed was redcurrant sauce. But upon tasting, it could well have been brake fluid.
The plates were cleared and we awaited our mains. When they arrived we were impressed.
My Kangaroo sautées en crevettes saumure (Roo sauteed in shrimp brine) was tasty. Tough, but tasty. It had hints of GTX and Holts window washer fluid, and to be fair, I was not convinced it was Kangaroo. It had the look of cod, and tasted like nothing on Earth.
Glenda enjoyed her rib-eye, and the triple cooked chips were solid statements in potato artistry. We asked Frank what the process of triple cooking entailed, and he told us that the chef had cooked them on Monday, Tuesday and again this Friday for our meal.
After finishing our meal, Frank brought out our side salads, and a bowl of carrot looking things for Glenda. We didn't eat them.
We asked for the desert menu, but Frank informed us that the chef had now left, as he needed to get to Halfords for some spare parts for his Vauxhall, before it closed. Although he helpfully offered to fix us up with two bowls of corn flakes. We politely declined. The milk would not mix well with the lager.
We strolled through to the bar again to settle the bill, and were surprised to find it very reasonable. At only £92.76 per head, we left feeling full and refreshed.
It was a feeling that would not last for long, Glenda came down with a nasty bout of botulism, and I had salmonella. And a severe sore throat. Glenda said that removing my scarf was a bad idea.
I strongly recommend venturing to The Wedged Hat, next time you're in the area.
But you can't. It's closed.
Next week, I take Glenda to a fine dining experience. Sumptuous minced filet mignon, pressed between light fluffy dough pancakes, and drenched in secret sauces sourced from all over the world. Yes, it's Burger King, Daventry.