WHERE WERE YOU when Lockdown eased? It’ll be one of those questions that people will ask for years to come, but unlike the moments that stopped in your tracks when Elvis died, when we crossed into a new millennium, when you got your first mobile phone, you’ll probably remember the end of Lockdown as the night you stayed in. Again.
We went to the pub, the Ram Inn at Firle, a treat of a country pub, far enough away from the madding crowd but full, we hoped, of cheerful locals raising a glass. But what to wear? Patterned cloth mask or Boots’ whitest? Gloves: blue plastic or a pastichey yellow Marigold perhaps?
By the time you read this, you’ll gasp at the answer. Reader, we were naked. Well, our faces were anyway. And we weren’t alone. No-one, not our friends who sat opposite us unaware of the aerosol potential of a leaky laugh, or the staff wore anything to hide our wide smiles at the sheer joy of leaving the house.
But my vision of a delightful feast in the company of fellow foodies, was less of a warm hug and more of a socially distanced ankle rub. There was more room at the Inn than any needy traveller could have dreamed of that night. The 4th of July went out with less of a bang and more of a whimper.
By the time The Whistler hits the streets, we’ll know more about the impact of that lacklustre welcome back to the locals. The wheat will have been sorted from the chaff and the redundancies will be strewn over the pavements like butt ends after a Friday night in the old days. Or maybe not.
Across Brighton, the gourmet scene was booked solid. Steven Edwards at etch. in Hove (beautiful plate pictured below) was ready to set off the fireworks on July 4th with not one but two openings. His new restaurant, The Bingham Riverhouse in Richmond had only just launched when Lockdown closed its doors in March, but the 2013 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals reports both restaurants are back and firing on all cylinders.
Brighton Restaurants have compiled an up to date list of the Brighton restaurants which are bravely marching on.
Do them a favour and don a mask, wash your hands and head down to your local pub or restaurant, or if you can’t leave home just yet, order a take-away. What would Brighton be without its food scene? What would life be without a pub?