Tom gets romantic at The Arches

I took an overdue trip to The Arches on Fairhazel Gardens the other night; always such an interesting venue to enjoy some good food and wine, with elements of mystery and intrigue to go with the fun and craziness of the place.

As ever, a waitress directed our gaze to the mobile specials board, and I instantly locked onto the fisherman’s stew. There was a slight error when ordering; enquiring as to whether the stew came with anything, I was told no, and hence ordered chips, but in fact a large side of rice accompanied the dish (and indeed worked very well with it). Even by my gluttonous standards, powering through all that lot would have been a little too much – though I did my best!

Look at those "proud, glowing" prawns.

Look at those “proud, glowing prawns”

The stew was wonderful; large, proud, glowing prawns (perhaps just a fraction well-cooked), swordfish, and mussels, nicely accompanied by some al-dente, attractively sliced carrots, and bell peppers which had been grilled or baked first to get some charring on the skin. It wasn’t a particularly wet stew; more a seafood and sauce affair, but the latter was intense and well-seasoned, and of a most satisfying orange-red colour. A simple, but soulful meal, great for people like me always complaining about the weather.

Shock of the day was my remarkable decision to share a dessert for the first time ever… who says romance is dead?! In fact, I…oh hang on, incoming text message..

**Sorry, rather not c u tnight, yr table manners are questionable to say the least, & difficult to hold a conversation if u will drink 2 bottles of wine that quickly. Bye**

Oh well – back to my window seat with a newspaper in La Brocca!