Magazine article The Spectator

Restaurants

Magazine article The Spectator

Restaurants

Article excerpt

GOOD Christmas? Fine; thanks for asking. Spent most of it in north Wales at my parents-in-law. Not much to do in north Wales. Bit boring, actually. Sometimes I had to shake my watch, just to check it was still going. No, not much to do, apart from watching crap telly, reading and rereading my mother-in-law's double Christmas/New Year issue of Woman's Weekly and thinking that I should start on a detox diet but finding it hard to wean myself off the But-tox diet, which involves lots and lots of Cadbury's Roses before breakfast, and then lots and lots afterwards and then, bugger it, might as well finish the box now and open the Miniature Heroes. This is a very good diet, does what it says on the can. Everything goes straight - whoosh! - to the but-tox without any shilly-shallying or messing about. I now look like Brian Blessed from behind. More scarily, I might even look quite like him from the front. Still, no matter. New Year, New You! Add Style with House Plants! Is it Wrong to Love At 85? Knit a Super Sweater for Him. Narrow Stairs? The New Stairlifts from Stannah are the Slimmest Ever! (Thora Hird not included in this offer. Support stockings models' own.) See, I read the double issue of Woman's Weekly right through to the ads at the back. I wouldn't mind a stairlift, I must say. Can you get them in wicker? Can you get them for narrow stairs but Blessed-wide but-tox? Now where were we? (Honestly, have you ever met a better candidate for `Use It or Lose It! Tricks to Boost Your Memory!'?) Ah, yes, in Wales, until it was time to come home again, back to London, where I was happily looking forward to turning `Seasonal Leftovers into Meals in Their Own Right' and sending off for the sort of `beautiful floral tapestry that will brighten any home in time for spring'. However, on our way we got diverted by this great, big, glowing Indian restaurant, Khazana, on the A483 Ruabon bypass, which is just outside Wrexham, before you hit the A5 and then M54. It's where the Little Chef used to be. Anyway, I'm a little bit peckish, having not had a single thing to eat for at least four minutes, and demand we stop. `Oh, come on,' says my partner. `We've only just set off. Let's get further on, at least.' Honestly, he just doesn't understand the rigorous demands of serious, determined, full-scale but-toxing. I wish he was more like Joel in the bestselling author Christina Jones's light-hearted romantic serial, Pastures New. He and Stephanie get caught in the rain and he kisses her even though her mascara has all run, and then he dries her off with a big warm towel. Joel would understand. Joel would not only offer me a segment of Terry's Chocolate Orange, he'd also give the whole thing that initial, segment-loosening thump on a hard surface. He's very manly, Joel.

In the end I win the day, and we do stop. I win the day because I argue that if we don't stop here we'll have to stop at a motorway services later on, and who in their right mind wants to do that? (Even but-toxers have their standards.) So, in we go. It's an odd sort of place. Capacious, ferociously lit, quite Little Chef-ish if it weren't for the Indian etchings and red, plush chairs. `Have you booked?' the waiter asks, even though it's only just gone 6 p.m. and the place is empty. `No,' we confess. `That's OK,' he says, leading us to a table on the far side. I think he's glimpsed the but-tox. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.