curns' corner

By curns

Birthday lunch

I got up this morning to find the flat had a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner and some presents set out on the table. PY had even blown up a couple of balloons, which was a lovely touch. I opened a few presents with coffee. I have a great selection of books, some unusual gifts (including a foot massager) and tickets to go and see Sunset Boulevard later in the year.

I don’t know why, but I decided that I wanted to go to Cowes on my birthday.  And, I am very glad that I did.  We took the 10:50 bus from the Transport Interchange and were on the floating bridge/chain ferry an hour later. That allowed us to take a stroll down the Main Street in Cowes - stopping for a coffee and looking at all the shops. There’s a version of Monopoly in the window of one of the charity shops that is set in Wigan and I nearly bought it for Mum and Dad.

PY had booked us lunch at the Smoking Lobster so, about 1pm, we took our seats. It’s quite contemporary and minimalist inside but there’s a lovely atmosphere; even when it is not packed and the staff are fantastic. The menu looks delicious but we decided, as it’s my birthday, that we would start with a couple of their small plates (including a Chinese Turnip cake that proved to be delicious) and then go for the Seafood Platter For Two  which, as the centre piece included the most fantastic ginger-baked black bean sea bass. Around the fish were seared scallops, prawns, Isle of Wight Crab & yellow fin tuna (plus a whole selection of other small items).  We really did not need the accompanying fries. Expensive but wholeheartedly recommended.

After lunch we took a further walk through Cowes, eventually settling on the roof-top terrace of The Globe pub, overlooking The Solent and the entrance to Cowes marina. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon (sunglasses and sun tan lotion were definitely needed) and we spent the time watching the ships. It was one of the loveliest, most tranquil, afternoons I have had for a long time and it was great that we managed to do it on my birthday.

We ended up back in Ryde about 7pm and where we went to sit outside the Ryde Castle for a final drink. It’s not quite so easy to see the boats in Ryde’s (much smaller) marina but it was lovely way to end the day. We went back to the flat as it started to get chilly.

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