Doing Lunch

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Fri 3 Jul 2009 21:23
Today the weather GRIB showed that we were to have rain - and as the computer predicted so it came to pass and it rained, quite heavily, this afternoon and has been misty and humid all day.  Not a day to do very much - so we didn't.
After getting bread, etc, we decided to go out to lunch.  Because we're moored in the yacht club marina, we have visiting rights, and decided to have lunch there.  What an experience!   It was like going back 30 years to how sailing clubs used to be - very gracious, relaxed living.  It reminded me of the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk before it was modernised.   Our neighbour had said he had taken the crew there for dinner there, and it was very good value; we'd also been told by the harbour office that we would be welcome provided that we weren't wearing shorts.  So I put on a sun dress and Roger wore a shirt, and we set off at about 1pm.  Not a bad time you might think...  but the lady behind the bar was fazed, and as it turned out not just because we had no Spanish.  A senior member (an old salt, even,) came to our rescue with English and explained that lunch didn't start until 2-ish.  No problem: we reserved a table and returned to the boat.  I offered my hand to the senior member and he bowed over it.  The age of courtesy lives on here!  I had a paper to comment on for the University on remuneration strategy and so I used the time to draft a bureaucratic email to the Chairman.  I suspect that in consequence I won't be the vice-chancellor's favourite governor!   Roger used the time profitably to revise some useful phrases under "eating out" in the Spanish phrasebook.
We returned at 2.  The first challenge was the steward in the front lobby who asked (I assume) whether our boat was in the marina.  Looking him straight in the eye we said "Si" and proceeded upstairs to the restaurant, and our table.  We were seated next to a table of very senior members, drinking wine and generally chewing the cud.  Again, one took pity on us and explained the menu to us.  There were two menus: the members menu, and the carte.  He pointed out to Roger the chefs specialities - sea trout and sole, which we very modestly priced @12 and 9 euros respectively - but we worked from the members menu 3 courses, plus bread, water, wine and coffee for 12 euros each.  We ate scrambed eggs with a sort of garlic-flavoured green "bean", then fried hake with a little salad and potato (I was amused to see that gentlemen's portions have more potato than ladies!)  We both noticed that there weren't many vegetables (and we also noticed that other diners left their veg!!)  Roger then had rice pudding and I had custard - we could have had an icecream.  The wine was La Tenencia - a white wine from Ribeiro.  The waiters (white jackets, black bow ties) were very kind to us and had a little English which helped.  Roger was asked if he wanted his cappuchino with milk or cream and we feared the worst - but it came with whipped cream piped on top, as it would from Druckers. Paid by credit card - it worked!
The clientele was interesting. It felt like a regular meeting place of people who saw a lot of each other - a lot of kissing, shoulder clapping etc.  It looked very much as though it was a venue for smart, retired people, although there was a group of 3 ladies, probably in their 30s-40s, and just after 3pm a group of 8 busisess men arrived.  We reflected that if dinner isn't until 9-10pm, lunch must likewise be served later.
Here are some pix that give a flavour of gracious living.  We felt privilidged to be part of it, albeit vicariously!
 Came back to the boat for a rest!    Just had a bowl of soup this evening - neither of us felt hungry, although neither of us had eaten much.  It must be the excitement!