As Bill hates to celebrate Valentine's Day on the actual day, and as we'd had our romantic meal the night before, I decided to join Robert Muller, his wife and some of my colleagues from work for a curry on the 14th!
Robert had obtained the work minibus for 18.30 from work, 18.45 from Redhill and the meal was booked at the Ruchita in Earlswood for 19.30, all very efficient! Four of us went into Redhill first - the 3 Spanish people, Maria, Andres and Paula, went shopping while I went to a cashpoint, then we went to the Garland, the Harvey's pub. I suggested they drink the Armada ;-) but for some reason they chose Carling instead. I had a half of the Extra Double Stout at 9% - black, treacly and deadly. The Spanish girls tasted it and made faces, it's definitely an acquired taste!
Then we took the minibus from Redhill to the restaurant with me in the front giving directions. I went wrong a couple of times but we made it in the end.
Soon after we parked, a rough looking bloke came and parked right up against the back plate of the minibus. Robert said 'nice bit of parking' to him and he got annoyed, some of us thought he was going to throw a punch at Robert, but Willmer, the tall Venezuelan, was on hand to protect him! Robert diplomatically moved the minibus to the station carpark.
We went into the Old Chestnut for a drink before the meal. They only had Courage Best, so I had half a Guinness. It had been refurbished but was still essentially a locals pub. I left to go to the restaurant but couldn't find my handbag - went back to look on the bus, not there - back to the pub again and found it, phew! It was on the back of a chair, someone else must have come along later and put a coat over it.
Was relieved to get into the restaurant and order some food. We had poppadoms and chutneys to start, but Andres overdid it with the lime pickle, finding his too hot. Willmer loved the lime pickle though, and I agreed, it was great! The main courses took a while to arrive, and they'd got my order slightly wrong, but I was happy enough with Chicken Tikka Massalla. Andres, a curry beginner, had Lamb Massalla which he liked, and Willmer had Chicken Jalfrezi which he found good but hot. I enjoyed being the curry (and English language and culture) expert for the night! Everybody had plenty of food and nobody could face dessert. We split the bill in a civilised way, at £15 each which I thought was very reasonable. The waiters brought a long stem rose for each lady on the table which was a nice touch.
Robert dropped some of us off at the station again, and I had no trouble getting the last train back to my loving husband (he picked me up at Farnborough North at about 23.45).
Many thanks to Maria and Robert for the unusual Valentines meal! Everyone enjoyed themselves, a fun night out!