Monday, October 8, 2007

Tunbridge Wells

Part I: Scenes from a Mexican Restaurant

Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant, Tunbridge Wells, UK. 8:00 p.m. Andy and Maggie enter. It is a large restaurant with a few people seated at tables, but mostly empty tables in the front and in the other rooms.

Andy: Hi, two for dinner please.
Hostess: Drchit blortpix fleim table?
Andy: Umm… yeah, sure, a table would be great.

Hostess looks confused.

Andy: [Guessing] Oh, no, we didn’t book a table.

Hostess looks at her reservation book. She looks concerned. It is 8:00 p.m. and restaurant is 90% empty. She motions to another woman who comes over and also looks concerned.

Hostess: I’m sorry, but we are full for the evening.

We glance around. Place is still almost empty. Tables of all sizes are available.

Andy: Urrr…
Hostess: I’m sorry, but the tables are booked and they will be arriving very soon, so we can’t seat you.
Andy: Okay, I guess we’ll just go somewhere else.

Andy & Maggie exeunt confused and giggling.

Oh well, so much for our first experience with Mexican food in the UK.


Part II: More on Tunbridge Wells from Maggie…

So Andy and I ended up at a delicious noodle restaurant on the night in question. It was really funny - we were tempted to go back to the Mexican place after dinner and peek in the windows to see if all of the tables were actually taken.

At any rate, we had a great time this weekend in Tunbridge Wells, a small town located in Kent, about an hour south of London. The town is very traditionally English - cute with lots of cobblestone streets and local stores. Here are some pictures to give you a flavor for it:

Maggie’s Favorite Road

There’s an old shopping area in town called “The Pantiles” that’s full of pretty (and expensive) shops and a pub called "The Ragged Trousers". Our favorite place by far was an amazing kitchen / cooking store called Trevor Mottram. We both saw lots of beautiful pots and pans we’d wished we could take home, not to mention French linens, teapots, casseroles, etc.

I think Andy wanted to abscond with some enameled cast iron pots

Overall we had a great time. It was interesting to see a part of England that is so beautiful, quiet, sleepy, and surrounded by sheep - very different than the places in central London where we hang out every day.

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