I’ve had my chips
The combination of our first wedding anniversary with some teaching in that London for the National Academy of Writing meant that my wife and I were looking for something fun to do in the Sarfeast last Wednesday evening. So we put up at an hotel in Maidenhead, and went for dinner at Heston Blumenthal’s pub, The Hinds Head in Bray. We couldn’t quite run to The Fat Duck; besides, the Hinds Head sounded quite good enough.
And it was good enough. It was beyond mere good. It was ridiculous. Great service, and startling food. My wife had a raw venison thing, which was miraculous, and I had Heston’s Meat Fruit thing, which was impossible to fathom how they’d done it, but delicious to eat. For our mains, my wife had plaice, which she described as being like plaice cubed; or like eating plaice while swimming in the sea. I had oxtail and kidney pudding, which was just the loveliest thing I’ve ever eaten, ever. And it came with Heston’s triple cooked chips, or, as I prefer to think of them, chips. I’d never had chips before. Oh yes, I’ve eaten those things they give you in the chipper that they call chips. I’ve had ‘chips’ (so called) in posh restaurants and greasy spoons. But it turns out they weren’t chips at all. They were stodgy pale strips of fried potato. Actual chips, the platonic chips of your dreams, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, are only to be had in the small Berkshire village of Bray. Until I can go back and have some more, my life is wasted.