Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sandra Sunday*

Today, it seems, is my day. I've been calling all the shots.

 "What would you like to do?" asked Robin.

"Really? My for-real wish list? Well. I would like to go to Romsey Abbey for the ten o'clock service; to Winchester Cathedral for Evensong; and somewhere along the line, to The Queen's Head [pub] in Burley." I specified The Queen's Head because I know that they have a vegan menu, as well as standard pub fare: I learned that useful fact at, and I called the pub a few days ago to confirm.

That reminds me: We went into Costa Coffee in Romsey after the 10:00 service. Robin took a seat while I ordered our coffee: two cappuccinos; one with cow milk, the other with soy. When the young man (who, by the way, like all the staff, wore a button that read "I was made to love you" -- who could resist that?) finished making Robin's coffee, he asked, "Was that, uh, chocolate on the normal one and cinnamon on the soy?" "Yes," I replied, "though I take exception to the word normal." He was so embarrassed, he got all stammery, and I had to assure him that I had been joking (sort of). What was I to do? There was that button...

But I am getting ahead of myself. Because I was going to church, I left my camera in the hotel room. Silly me. What about the four and a half hours between services? What about the leaves changing colour in the woods near Ampfield? What about the pasty shop in Winchester where we carried our tea and pasties up the stairs to a room with a ceiling so low, I had to duck; and drank our tea while sitting at a casement window, looking out over the pedestrian mall, looking into the 15th Century Buttercross? [If you click on the link, you'll see the cross itself and a Tudor building behind it. That's where we were sitting.]

On the other hand, I wandered all through Winchester Cathedral, stopping to allow other people to take photographs, taking none myself, lingering at Jane Austen's grave, studying windows and statues, thoroughly enjoying myself. People asked me for directions, something that doesn't happen when I have a camera slung around my neck. Not that I could help them.

The 10:00 service at Romsey Abbey was a Harvest Thanksgiving service. The 3:30 service at Winchester turned out not to be Evensong, after all. We must have been here on the same Sunday last year, because once again, there was no Evensong. There was the Harvest Festival. So I got to sing All Creatures of Our God and King twice today, which was great. On the other hand, I didn't get to sit in the quire. On the other other hand, I did get to gaze up at the arches, which is getting to be one of my favourite pastimes.

Robin: All Dressed Up
So. Several hours and two services later, I was just about as holy as I was going to get. We headed back to Lyndhurst and stopped at the hotel long enough for Robin to change into his dress clothes before we headed to Burley for dinner. (We were both feeling unwell on our anniversary, so instead of going out to dinner, we holed up in our hotel room and went to sleep early. Tonight's dinner was our belated anniversary celebration.)

While we were at the hotel, I grabbed my camera, so that tonight's blog entry wouldn't have to go completely naked. First, I snapped a photo of Robin standing in the hotel's courtyard. Then we drove to Burley and I took several photos of the pub.

The pub. This is the Restaurant Review segment of tonight's entry. Our dinners were very good. I have no complaint about the dinners themselves, but I do have a suggestion for the owners of the pub: Perhaps they could buy a stick of green chalk and write the vegan dishes in green, to save confusion. It took three people three trips back to the kitchen to find out which dishes were for-sure vegan and which ones might be vegan...I settled on vegetable fajitas, one of the two for-sure vegan dishes. [Robin ordered a fish dinner that was very good.] The thing is, when my vegetables arrived, sizzling, on a cast iron plate, they came with a side plate on which sat several tortillas along with little ramekins of guacamole, tomato salsa...and sour cream and shredded cheese.

Can you hear the raucous buzzer?

"I won't be needing these, thank you," I said. Once again, I was faced with an embarrassed waiter. This one grabbed the ramekins and sped away, leaving a trail of apologies in his wake. It was no big deal -- all I had to do was send away two little bowls -- but really. This was supposed to be one of the for-sures. It's labeled "vegan option" on the menu board.

On yet another hand (this is the last hand -- I promise), this is the only place where I've even seen the word "vegan" on the menu since we arrived in Hampshire, so I'm not really complaining -- just shaking my head and making one gentle suggestion. I did enjoy my dinner, and I would go back to The Queen's Head.

*It was Robin that called this Sandra Sunday. He wants copyright protection. Okay. Post title Copyright Robin Leigh.


AngelMay said...

Wow! Robin looks so handsome! :)

Sandra Leigh said...

Doesn't he, though?

Linda said...

Robin looks very handsome! I suspect you looked most lovely yourself.

When I look at the blogs for Vegans or Vegetarian, they run the gamut of everything totally veggie to adding milk, eggs, cheese.....

We went to the Olive Garden two months ago after getting the seatbelt in the car replaced, had a hard time to find something that we could eat, despite them supposedly having "veggie plates" these all included cheeese.

Sounds like a lovely Sandra Sunday care of Robin.

The Bug said...

I don't think I could give up my dairy (despite the fact that I KNOW it's not really great for me) - the closest I could come is just plain vegetarian instead of vegan. Although if I lived alone I might try a little harder - I don't know how you manage when Robin isn't also vegan. Wait, you actually COOK don't you? There's the problem - Mike's the cook in our house - ha!

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