Up bright and early for a quick brekky before going over to the church fête. Great crack, terrific atmosphere, nice weather. Typical fête stalls, from mugs to books to bric-a-brac, catering for young and old alike. Carl's mum was helping out on one of the food stalls, so I came away from there with pots of jam and biscuits and slices of pizza. The minute we went through the gate we caught the familiar whiff or barbecue. The local scout troop were in control. It was all a bit smokier than it should have been, but that put off the customers in the slightest. It was all good fun, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
It was in to town afterwards for my weekly music session, which was hosted for the first time by one of our newest recruits and was hugely enjoyable too. The enjoyment continued afterwards in a nearby pub, and suddenly it was fast approaching 6.00 pm when I was due to meet Carl to be taken out for my birthday meal. He'd refused to tell me in advance where we were going, and led me what I thought was a bit of a merry chase as we made our way there -- 'there' turning out to be One Pico, off Molesworth Street. We were booked for what's described as the 'pre-theatre' menu and is only available until 7.00 pm. There was some confusion about that (Carl had read on web forums that it was apparently house policy that this pared-down menu had to be actually asked for on arrival, and wouldn't be presented as a matter of course, and that's how it turned out). It's priced at 45 euro, which is perhaps on the high side, but it turned out to be worth it -- all in all one of the best restaurants we've ever been to in Dublin, and for me second only to the one and only l'Ecrivain. A super night, with great food, excellent service and pleasant surroundings -- and an excellent choice of celebratory restaurant by Carl.