A Slight Break With Tradition

The Mikado poster

Yesterday afternoon Jackie drove us to the small town of Leatherhead in Surrey for the family group attendance at the Godalming Operatic Society’s Gilbert and Sullivan performance directed by the sisters’ cousin Pat O’Connell. As will be seen from this extract from the programme: Pat O'Connell 3.15Pat is much appreciated by this thoroughly professional amateur group who delivered their usual acclaimed rendition of ‘The Mikado’.

Leatherhead Theatre

My post ‘All Part Of The Process’ gives the history of this theatre.

As usual, we dined with Jackie’s sisters, brothers in law, and Pat, Christine, and their daughter Olivia at the Rialto Italian restaurant, where I enjoyed a starter of squid followed by a well-filled calzone, and shared a carafe of merlot with the director. As usual, after the performance we met in the bar for convivial drinks. I drank sparkling water and Tiger beer.

We then spent the night in the Travelodge in High Street. This is a good example of a low cost hotel chain which generally offers a good basic service. The view from our bedroom window, across the flat roofs, wasn’t too savoury, but then, this wasn’t a stately home.Rooftops from hotel window

High Street at dawn

 Travelodge stands in High Street between Argos and Swan shopping centre.

Thus we followed tradition. The slight deviation came this morning.Crescent Street


North StreetBarton's Bookshop

I rose with the sun at dawn, left everyone else sleeping, and wandered around the deserted streets, watching the changing light.Rooftops and supermarket trolley

Wishing to look down on the morning, I climbed to the top of the six storey car park, where I discovered someone had been there before me, with a supermarket shopping trolley.pigeons and 'peacock'

What appeared to be a rather ragged peacock perched above the pigeons occupying a leafless tree. There are many other options for what can be visualised in a tatty bit of black bin bag caught in the branches.

At 10 a.m. we convened in the hotel foyer. Excellent as are both the fare and the service in Annie’s cafe where we normally have breakfast, were the establishment to appear in an estate agent’s brochure, it would be described as a ‘bijou residence’. Pat had had his meal at the Amici in High Street, and recommended it. Although the same group as had dined together yesterday had to be split and seated at two different tables, there was more accommodation and the food and service was quite as good. We all enjoyed Full English breakfasts, with some slight amendments.Amici cafeHigh Street

There is no pedestrian precinct as such in Leatherhead, although the three photographs of the High Street demonstrate what to me is an unique arrangement in which slow moving vehicles share the centre of the road with walkers, who have to weave in and out of cars parked on the sidewalks. It seems to work quite well.

Jackie drove us home in time for me to watch Ireland shatter England’s hopes of a grand slam in the Six Nations rugby tournament by beating them 19-9. It was an intriguing, tense, tussle.

Acute observers will have noticed that we had  stopped dining at The Jarna restaurant in Old Milton. That is because toward the end of last year they received some very bad press concerning illegal immigrant labour and failure to meet cleanliness standards. Shortly before Christmas the establishment changed hands and was renamed Spice of India. We decided to try it this evening, and were not disappointed. Jackie enjoyed her prawn bhuna and mushroom rice, as I did my naga chicken and special fried rice. We shared good onion bhajis and an excellent parata, and both drank cobra.