Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Yesterday Ann had arranged a sibling day for ourselves, her three brothers and their partners, meeting at the Fire Engine House in Ely. Took the above photo in our garden before we set out, then got in the car and motored over to Ely. A pleasant uneventful journey, and we arrived in plenty of time for me to go and have a poke round the Waterside Antique Centre. Worthwhile as I purchased four pieces of stock. Met an old friend and decided we just had time to go and have a coffee with her (she lives on the Quay at Ely, very near the Antique centre). Picked up all the family news (ours and hers) then back into Ely to the Fire Engine House.
The routine is that a table is booked a few weeks beforehand, then we congregate in the above Bar Parlour (see photo) until all the others arrive, the staff bring in menus which we study, and place our orders while we wait. When everyone has arrived and placed their orders, and when our table is ready, a member of staff comes in and tells us, then we all troupe through into the dining room, and the meal is soon served. It sounds a bit long winded but it works well. We linger over the meal and all the family news is swapped. The meal usually starts about one o'clock, and ends a bit after three o'clock. The staff treats us like old friends (and vice versa) and a pleasant time is had by all. The food always consists of very largely locally grown produce, and is invariably very good, provided you are fond of country fare, cooked on the premises. Second helpings of vegetables are always offered, and sometimes second helpings of meat. In my opinion (and we've been going there for forty odd years) it is the best restaurant in East Anglia, and I don't know why I'm telling you this, as you'll probably try to race me to it next time. Long may the place continue to thrive, say I.