The Cat’s Pyjamas –
Tom (my O.H.) and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday. We don’t do presents any more – although he did buy me a lovely bunch of flowers – yet he usually books somewhere for dinner. This year I took the initiative and booked us into a restaurant called ‘Centenary Lounge’ , The Cross, Worcester, as we hadn’t been there before.
I got the idea from a local magazine called ‘Worcestershire Living’ – or something similar – that I picked up when I was out and about: the restaurant was featured in the magazine and the write-up read well so I thought, ‘Why not?’.
Why not indeed…it was as wonderful as the writer of the article had made it sound: even the view from our table was my cup of tea as I do love an old building or two.
The style of the restaurant is Art Deco and has a rather grand feel to it. Crisp white tablecloths, cutlery that depicted the era, a menu which is neither too big (confusing) or too small (limiting) and lots of other lovely touches gave a feel of quality. Even the font and the type-setting of the menu had been well-thought out. Apparently the menu (food wise) was designed by BBC2’s The Great British Menu chef, Chris Holland and was inspired by the original GWR dining car menus of the 1930’s.
The restaurant (reached via a lovely, wide, spiral staircase) was carpeted and curtained – good quality, lined curtains – so this was a plus, as in many contemporary restaurants you find a distinct lack of soft furnishings, creating a cacophony of unintelligible noise: how on earth people can have a conversation in some of these places amazes me…perhaps this is why so many people end up shouting across the table?
Our waiter – Joe – was excellent. Attentive, informative and helpful: as he showed us to our table I noticed a ‘Happy Anniversary’ balloon had been put out for our – what a thoughtful touch?
The food was faultless and flavoursome.
I had scallops to start while Tom chose oysters; yes, I did steal a couple of oysters off him as I couldn’t resist.
With a choice of dressing (Tabasco, onions in vinegar and something else that I can’t quite recall) I struggled to decide which starter I preferred.
We both then had a beef steak, recommended by Joe when I asked him, ‘Whether to have Seabass – which I have a lot, and I mean a lot – or steak?’
When ordering dessert Joe fore-warned us that the dessert portions were large…and they were, so thank goodness we chose to have the Raspberry Pavlova between us.
Choosing whether to finish with a glass of pudding wine or a glass of port was made easy as the pudding wine was one of my favourites – Pineau des Charentes: I was introduced to this as an appetiser many years ago by a very chic French woman who ran a super Chambre d’Hote.
Just about managing to get an espresso down (we were so full) saying, ‘Goodnight’, to the other diners seemed natural as the atmosphere at ‘Centerary Lounge’ is one of familiarity and relaxation…mind, I was a tad tipsy so perhaps that had an effect too??!!
P.S. The Cat’s Pyjamas was a phrased used back in the Art Deco/Flapper period to describe something good!