Monday, July 23, 2012

Lunch at the Victoria Hotel

This observer had been down at Mill Road Allotments on Saturday, helping some of the plotters preparing for the open day. The Sun had finally emerged and had been beating down for a couple of hours. After midday I headed up the street quite thirsty and the idea formed in my mind of having a pint in the Vic and just watching the world go by for a moment or two. The pint of lager tasted very good, looking around I noticed that several customers had come in to take advantage of the new lunch menu. On hearing that the special of the day was home-made vegetarian pizza I succumbed and ordered, being a less than adventurous soul most of the time I simply went for chips and peas to accompany the pizza. There wasn’t a veggy option for the soup unfortunately, but on a hot day that’s not too much of a misfortune. There have been some days this July however when soup would have gone down very well.

It’s amazing how bright and airy the Vic is when the midday sun shines, interesting too to this observer just how much activity there is in our High Street compared to some other small towns. My pizza arrived and, if I have any complaint at all, it was that the plate wasn’t big enough, not because of the portion being too small but that it was too big for the plate! It wasn’t long before a couple of peas escaped to roll across the table. I set about tackling the huge, thick piece of pizza and some of the accompanying chips. Simple tasty fare, it did the job filling my empty stomach as the ambience of Saturday afternoon in the Vic got into its stride in the background. I could have had homemade soup as well as a main course for £5.95 but there wasn’t a veggy option available on Saturday. As it was a warm sunny day that didn’t matter too much but unfortunately athere have been quite a few dreich cool summer days recently when soup would have been appreciated.

Over in the "Library" corner one of the reugulars was sitting in a comfortable armchair reading the Press and Journal. In came Geoff Skeet, one of the Saturday afternoon musicians, a chance for a few minutes conversation with Geoff about affairs parochial and further afield too. A slight anxiety now over the number of calories I was consuming but the sun filtered through the window, the food and the craic was good and another pint was in order. Calorie counting could wait for another day. 

I went the whole way (almost) and had a half portion of the sticky toffee pudding. . More craic followed as other members of the band turned up. Donald Wilson entered into a bit of banter with a couple of the regulars from the Thursday night Legion Ceilidh who had popped down to the Vic for a meal and an afternoon listening to the music. The music started and a mixture of Nairnites and tourists started to fill up the tables and the area near the bar.  

This observer spoke to one wifie present who, a long time ago now, used to work across the road in the former Burnetts the bakers shop, now Iain Fairweather’s model shop. She reminisced on some of the sights she used to see on Saturday afternoons at the height of the darkest days of the legendary Bermuda Triangle. Gurnites might be pleased, or disappointed, in equal numbers that these days the Vic most certainly isn’t what it used to be but it does offer a competitive option for lunch in comfortable, welcoming surroundings and judging by the satisfying meal that this observer had, is a welcome addition to the choices available when eating out in Nairn.