The Pitcher and Piano: a place to watch life’s rich tapestry unravel (a review) – Jon Aspinox Writes

The Pitcher and Piano: a place to watch life’s rich tapestry unravel (a review)

Originally posted on Tripadvisor.


Overall score: 3/5



We came in for dinner on the first day humanity was allowed back into pubs and restaurants. The setup was very safe: good spacing around tables, a foot pump operated hand gel thingy, and ordering via the website. The best thing, by far, has been the clientele – or those who aspire to be.


As we sat down, we noticed a couple behind us with a suitcase having an animated chat. Perhaps, we wondered as we chose our drinks, they were off on a little mini break to celebrate being able to go on mini breaks. However, as we waited for our drinks (for a while, it must be said, though I am sure the staff were doing their best with the new rules), it became apparent that this couple’s drinks weren’t the only thing on the rocks. He loudly claimed that he had ‘had the time of his life’ before he met her, while she reminded him that he had let her down ‘so many times.’ Our drinks arrived and we sipped, breathlessly awaiting his next riposte, when two large parties entered and sat on the other side of the table.


These parties, my wife soon ascertained, did in fact know each other. Bearing in mind the rules about party sizes and households, it became apparent that for the duration of lockdown six separate couples had decided to segregate themselves by gender and live in two large communes, which were now out for dinner. Cue much conversation between the two tables, which became progressively less surreptitious as the evening continued. We were by now enjoying our burger and our mushroom pasta (very acceptable, though nothing particularly standout) when a commotion began by the front door.


A man in an ostentatious yellow anorak was at the door with his entourage, apparently attempting to eat here without a booking. This would have been an ambitious undertaking even before lockdown as his party consisted of six people, but to attempt it on the first night back after lockdown suggested a severe detachment from the rest of the world on his part (an assessment which the anorak only corroborated). Despite the manager’s assurance that no sir, you can’t come in without a reservation and no sir, the downstairs really does only contain the toilets and not extra seating we’re hiding from you, Yellow Anorak pushed past and made his way to the toilets. As our eyes followed him we saw the happy couple from earlier and now realised that the woman had left with the suitcase. I do hope it was hers. The man was sat wearing his cap with an air of miserable defiance, eagerly ordering another two San Miguels.


Eventually Yellow Anorak emerged from the toilets, and hid at the back of his group while they confirmed that there was indeed no room and that they would indeed have to try their luck elsewhere. As we finished our mains and ordered brownie for pudding (very passable, though with entirely superfluous marshmallows), we watched another four groups attempt to wing their way into the restaurant, apparently confident that nobody else would have thought to book a table on this, the FIRST NIGHT restaurants could be open after three months of lockdown. Their faces mirrored the disappointment of the many people who thought that the hand gel dispenser at the front door was automatic, and stood there for a while holding their hands out looking sheepish and sad before realising that they needed to involve their feet. The boys and girls parties-that-totally-didn’t-know-each-other-haha-no-YOU-stop-talking-to-US got progressively louder. At some point the now single man, potentially missing his suitcase, left. As, it must be said, did we once our food was finished.


Overall – a good spot for people watching with reasonable food and drink.

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