Evening in a bottle

Had a lovely day yesterday. I visited Fountains Abbey with Fiona, Ralph and Fiona’s Mum Hilary.

We knew it was going to be a lovely day within minutes of Ralph waking. He came for a performative cuddle with Fee and I before asking “Can I see Nanny now?”

He went through to Hilary’s room and joined her in bed. I peeked in, he was snuggled into her while they chatted about any and everything.

The trip to Fountains Abbey was partly tactical. Hilary had agreed to look after Ralph for the night while we went to the Tontine. A tired boy was the aim of the excursion. This would be only the 2nd time we’d left Ralph for the evening, and the first away from his home.

The weather was mixed but the combination of open space and ruins to explore proved to be a winner for Ralph.

The evening at the Tontine was mixed. We had imagined a relaxed evening spent across their lounge and restaurant. However on arriving they informed us of work underway and so dinner would be in the old restaurant downstairs. The email we received on booking also said checkout was 11am, we were told this was a mistake and check out was 10am.

The minor disappointments were to continue with the news they had run out of tomato juice and so Fiona was denied a Bloody Mary.

The downstairs restaurant has a very different feel to the main one. Older and darker with more of an inn feeling. Not surprising given the history of the Cleveland Tontine.

A Tontine, I learned, was a ownership agreement between several owners. On death of an owner their share was split equally amongst the surviving members. They are illegal now as it was noticed Tontine members were more likely to die from unnatural causes.

On being seated in the restaurant they took time to produce a cocktail menu. An unavoidable hassle with the current COVID restrictions. Fiona settled for a small white wine.

I ordered the game pie starter and then we shared the chateaubriand with a bottle of Pomerol.

While the meat itself was nicely cooked, the presentation felt incongruous with the location.

The Pomerol similarly lacked complexity, although was otherwise perfectly nice. It was the evening in a bottle.

Typically for a night away from Ralph, I woke early. My dreams were of work, quite frustrating while on holiday.

I’m between books having just finished Cards on the Table. I went through a couple of Kindle wishlists I’ve made and found it easier to decide what not to read.

Fiona woke part way through me writing this and so I shall end it here for now.

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