An old mate in from Oz on a flying visit invited me to St Albans today for the chance to listen to some very esoteric and expensive speakers. He's not actually buying, just trying to get some inside info for a second hand pair he fancies.
Always keen for the opportunity to play with exotic hi-tech, I quickly agreed to scrounge a day off from work and consequently met up with him and his brother in law, outside the dealership which turned out to be sitting worryingly right smack in the middle of a grey and anonymous industrial estate. Strange.
Not so strange when it turns out that the dealer was a wholesaler and furthermore no one was there to let us in. My old mate, having seen the swanky listening room on the net, assumed wrongly that it was retail and not bothered with making an appointment.
So there we all stood, outside a veritable palace of delight and forbidden sonic exotica, scratching our heads at the injustice of it all. After his brother in law and I had tired of verbally abusing him for his incompetence, there was nothing for it but to find somewhere to have a drink and devour some comfort food.
Eventually we alighted upon this vaguely interesting architectural oddity that housed a faux French eatery, complete with faux French waiters in black aprons and waistcoats. We grabbed a table and I snapped my fingers imperiously, shouting: "Garçon! Deux café de lait et un verre d'eau s'il vous plaît!"
Not really, but I was tempted it being about all the French I know.
The food offered turned out to be basically English, but described in French. I don't know, but calling a burger 'Le Normandie" does not really make for true French cuisine. Still, the place had a certain French atmosphere and was thankfully free of any accordion player banging out ambiance musettienne.
What did I eat? Yes, a burger...