The expectation versus the reality

The expectation

It’s Friday evening and a small part of the family have gathered in a restaurant on the Wirral for an evening of good food and drink.

I pass round the menus and we each peel one open. “It’s sticky”, “mine too”, “and mine”. Nevertheless we’re at the end of a very long day of travel and we just want food, preferably on a plate rather than, as others appear to have had it, on the menu.

“What are we all drinking?” We look at the Drinks Menu. “I rather like the look of these cocktails – or Mocktails as they are called, as they are alcohol free”. “Could I have the Ruby Red Cola please.”

The reality

I head to the bar and prepare for a demonstration of the finest Wirral-based cocktail skills. Spinning bottles, long ice throws, lemon aerodynamics and a final flurish as a tiny paper parasol is lovingly placed at a jaunty angle.

Instead two bottles were poured into a pint glass. Fin. No fruit, no straw and no jaunty angles.

I ordered my food. Oceans’ a Plenty and imagined sea soaked sailors hauling in the daily catch, highly train chefs delicately preparing an array of fresh fish and shellfish. I looked at the Ruby Red Cola. “This isn’t going to end well is it”, I though.


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