Saturday, 19 December 2009

Newcastle Dinner

Last night was the occasion of the annual National Trust Strangford Lough-Murlough Christmas dinner. The venue was the same place as last year, Villa Vinci's restaurant in Newcastle, County Down.

Of course it was a very cold night - on the way home the temperature dropped to -2 Celsius at Ballynahinch. I drove and, as a consequence of this, remained as sober as a judge the whole night. I continually sipped glasses of tonic water with ice and lemon, sad to recount!

There must have been about two dozen of us, most from the Murlough group; so I was only acquainted with five people. For some reason I wasn't on "top form"; I don't always feel comfortable at social gatherings like that. Still, perhaps I'm out of practice; and, had I been able to indulge in a proper drink, that might have helped.

The meal was perfectly acceptable. There was a reasonably good choice, and I chose the exactly the same courses as last year: Prawn cocktail; turkey with all the trimmings; plum pudding with custard; and coffee. I noticed others having duck and salmon.

Villa Vinci's was full. They're bound to have been "stretched" and there was occasionally slight confusion from the waiting staff - not to mention the diners - as to whom had ordered what! I think they did fairly well though, under the circumstances.

I cannot recall the precise time I left. I'd been hemmed in somewhat, sandwiched between others at the rear seating; otherwise I might have left a bit sooner. However, I got home safely about eleven-fifteen.

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