I went to Portsmouth for a wargame tournament. (My medieval Lithuanian army came third in a group of six, just outside the semifinal places, with three wins, a draw and a defeat.)
Before that, last night, to try and continue the musselly theme, I went to the Loch Fyne restaurant at Gunwharf Quays, one of a national chain. I booked because I believe you have to book everywhere in Portsmouth on a Saturday night. In my childhood in England there were no such things as mussels. I thought that here there would be.
Headlines: old brick building, old wood floor, cheerful atmosphere with people coming in after an afternoon at the shops. There were mussels and they were pretty good, springy in their texture, though I would like to have had the option of marinière, which I think is the best. (The options were cream, tomato provençale or coconut, which I couldn’t imagine.) The fish soup wasn’t so good, one dimensional, not fishy. I mentioned this when they asked how the food was and got a visit from the manager, a chat and the soup struck off my bill – which I didn’t necessarily want but was impressed by.
I was disappointed the Muscadet was off. I drank some Gros Plant which was less similar to Muscadet than I’d hoped.
Menu: English only.
Bread: £3, which feels ridiculous from a Belgium/France perspective; the butter was cool though not cold, in a china dish, nice and salty. The brown bread was good, the white a bit stale.
Dogs: “I’m a dog lover myself and it breaks my heart to say no but we’re not allowed.” (Not a problem because our puppy is in France now.)
Water: You can easily have tap water, which you can’t in Belgium, but it hasn’t the taste that the mineral water had at the Ploegmans.
Bill: £31,10 for one, I left a £2 tip.