Now and again, I meet Friends who Dine. Together we visit fancy eateries of Dublin. Friends who Dine comprises of Friend who has a fondness of club sandwiches and no other form of sandwich is good enough; Friend who thought fox hunting involved actively using foxes in a hunt; and me, Stephen. Our choice of restaurant alternates; we take turns to choose each time we meet. Our last gathering involved a fancy dinner in Chez Max, drinks in No Name Bar*, crashing a party and more drinks in Whelan’s. Our stay in Whelan’s was short. By that stage, we had wined and Jameson-and-ginger-aled ourselves into a drunken stupor. Club Sandwich Friend who Dines misplaced her coat and handbag, all of which were found on top of the cigarette machine. It was time for her to go home. Fox Hunting Friend who Dines had to rescue a sleepy friend from the loos. She was next to leave. Needless to say, a good night was enjoyed by all.
Last night, Friends who Dine met up at an Argentinean Grill for an early bird. Since the onslaught of the recession, we have resigned ourselves to less garish flashes of cash. Surprisingly enough, the restaurant was not particularly busy at six o’clock on a Wednesday during a recession. There were a few groups scattered about the light and airy space. One couple had obviously allowed a lunch time meeting evolve into afternoon drinks. Thankfully, they carried their flushed faces and irritatingly, loud voices home by the time our steaks arrived. Our table sat next to a huge window overlooking a busy street. Seeing how I am mad for “people watching”, I found it hard not to look out the window. The proportion of hotties/passers-by was impressive. During one such voyeuristic session, I noticed a cyclist coming towards the window. He showed no signs of slowing or stopping. In fact he peddled his bicycle with a greater intensity the closer he came. He approached the window as if oblivious to the fact a restaurant window was merely feet from him.
“Oh my God, what is he doing?” I screeched audibly, expecting his front tyre to bounce off the window. I braced myself for impact
Club Sandwich Friend who Dines clapped her hands and cheered.
Fox Hunting Friend who Dines sat with her back to the window. She wiggled in her seat in an attempt to see the spectacle. “What is it?” she asked as if excluded.
I was confused by Club Sandwich friend who Dines’s reaction to the display. Why was did she clap her hands in excitement? It was then I recognised the face of the cyclist. It was Boyfriend. He swerved his bike away from the window inches from the glass, before flashing a winning smile. He sped into the distance. Club Sandwich Friend who Dines had obviously recognised Boyfriend moments before I had. Fox hunting Friend who Dines was in the dark until we explained the events. I had forgotten the restaurant was on Boyfriend’s cycle-route home. He had completely taken me by surprise. It was nice entertainment.
After the restaurant, we rounded off the night over cocktails in a nearby hotel and a coffee in the apartment of Fox Hunting Friend who Dines. They presented me with my birthday present, a copy of Nigella Lawson’s Express Cookery Book. I’ve been instructed use it for a dinner party for Friends who Dine. Imagine the bicycle stunts Boyfriend will have perfected by the time my dinner party comes around.