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No. 3: When we set this somewhat nonsensical challenge I had assumed that we would be dining together on 40 occasions, however, as with most assumptions that involve my wife, I was wrong.
To explain, my wife was going on a ‘girls night out’ and insisted it qualified for our ‘40 B4 40 Challenge’. I tried to get myself an invite, but in spite of shaving my legs and wearing a rather fetching frock, I was still not invited. So, merrily the seven girls trotted off to Jamie’s Italian in Guildford, leaving a forlorn looking figure in a dress on the doorstep.
Fortunately, we have eaten there together before, so I knew the quirky Italian menu was well worth the visit. The restaurant is set in an iconic circular building in the heart of Guildford, and is one of a chain of restaurants run by Jamie Oliver. Normally we are not fans of ‘chain restaurants’, but this one is of sufficient quality, with good service, an unusual menu and a different kind of place to eat.
Before leaving, I had been given strict instructions that my ‘healthy eating’ dinner was in the fridge and that the dogs every whim must be attended to. As always I nodded, not really hearing what had been said.
As the door closed, I immediately went to the drawer for the menu of the Purbani, which after much research involving many takeaway restaurants and many years, I had crowned as ‘Guildford’s Best Indian Takeaway’. As they answered the phone, I asked; “Do you have a table for two by the window please”. Being purely a takeaway, I find this joke very funny. However, as the guy on the phone had heard me do this many times before, he simply said “Ah, good evening Mr Long, you funny man”. I suspect he did not mean ‘funny’ in the humorous sense.
The usual forty five minutes later my meal arrived, and I was soon tucking into a pile of papadoms with chutney, a chicken dhansak, pilau rice, onion bhaji and peshwari naan bread, all washed down with a pleasant French red wine from when we had emigrated to France.
The dogs meanwhile were eating a rather nice ‘heathly eating meal’ from the fridge.
Before settling down to the TV, I destroyed the evidence by disposing of all the cartons in the outside dustbin.
On her arrival home, I forgot to ask what my wife had eaten, however it soon became clear that whatever it was, it had a lot of garlic!
Jamie’s Italian: www.jamieoliver.com/italian/guildford
Purbani Indian Takeaway: click here
If you are wondering what the 40 B4 40 Dining Challenge is all about, please click here and all will be explained.