Edwinns and Darth Vader

Garfunkels begat the Filling Station, and yea, verily, it was rubbish. Not that I ever went there – simply looking through the window filled me with horror. Seating areas dressed as car seats, hyperventilating oversugared tykes bouncing off each other, Sky Sports shrieking at sweaty combovers. When I saw the builders moving in once more I stood in the street, laughing maniacally. “GO ON,” I screamed, “CLEAR THEM OUT! GOOD RIDDANCE! GERTCHA! HAHAHA!!”

This I now concede, officer, may have been a slight overreaction.

Those times are thankfully past, and my ASBO is all but expired. The Filling Station has become Edwinns Restaurant and Bar, a much classier joint. No riff-raff here, oh no. Not until we turned up on Saturday night.

Me, Chef, Louise, Lynda, Bov, Chrissie, Chris. (Melanie was hobnobbing with celebs at the ballet, Andy was being orchestral.) A nice round table, with no immediate neighbours to tut at Chef as his volume touched 11.

The service was fine but on the slow side, eased by the wine. Lots of time to chat, anyway, some of which I couldn’t possibly repeat on a school night. We made our waiter laugh, which is always a good sign I feel.

For the record, I had the cottage pie, labelled on the menu as being vegan and gluten-free, which is unusually informative. And I can heartily recommend its lentil goodness, with green beans and dauphinoise potatoes.

Chef managed to accidentally pay for the entire meal on his card, due to a waiter typo and his own drunkenness. He pocketed the cash, like a true city boy. In a shiny shirt.

Avaragado’s rating: buffalo mozzarella

Bov and Chrissie scarpered home as the rest of us retired to the Pickerel for another drink. Chris, I suspect, has only a vague memory of leaving Andy a rambling voicemail. The remaining ladies didn’t last long, leaving Chef, Chris and myself to talk nonsense until outchucking at, I guess, some time after midnight. Since Chef was staying Chez Avaragado (Hotel Heckford unavailable) Chris accompanied us both back to my place for another bottle of wine.

Well, Chris had a sip and nodded off, waking only to deny being asleep. Chef burbled on in his usual way. In a peculiar mixture of 21st century zeitgeistery with a nostalgia for things that happened before we were born, we watched sketches from Not Only But Also on YouTube. “Are you enjoying that sandwich?”

We also watched a work of genius: Vader Sessions. It’s even funny when sober.

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