Last weekend, to be precise, when I got drunk on rose wine, twice. In fact, having two bottles of wine in the space of 36 hours made me a little bit wobbly, if I’m honest. But I was held steady by the wonderful friends who plied me with said wine, so that was ok.
So on Friday, it was over to one of Medway’s not-so-hidden gems, the Cafe Maroc. It’s small but perfectly formed and once you’ve been there, you’ll be telling everyone you know about it. Not only is it different, the service is fantastic and the food gorgeous.
The owner, whose name escapes me but I’m going to call Sweayne (on account of the fact that he reminds me of both Sean Lock and Wayne Hemingway) doesn’t bother with the trivial, paper based boringness of a menu. Instead, he sits with you and verbally runs through whatever it is he’s decided to cook that evening – much more civilised than the same set meal, don’t you think? So you can ask those questions directly: “How hot is it?” “Is it crunchy or chewy” “Ketchup or brown sauce with that?”
We hadn’t actually booked, which was a bit silly, considering there are only three tables. But Sweayne was very accommodating and let us eat in the lounge area, after sending us up the road to the offie for a couple of bottles – they’re not yet licensed at the Maroc, but you can BYO. I felt like a 14 year old, stealing out to bagsy some booze to quaff round the corner …
As you can see, I was that taken with the delights on offer, the camera wasn’t spared a thought until it was nearly all gone. With decent portion sizes at a very reasonable price, you can still top up with lovely home made lemon drizzle or fruity Guinness cake and the most heavenly minty herbal tea I’ve ever tasted. Trust me, I even texted someone about it, I was that impressed.
Open as a cafe during the day, and a bistro restaurant in the evening, you can find Cafe Maroc at the Chatham end of Rochester High Street.
Moving on to Saturday and it was meeting up time with my bessie mate who sadly lives in Essex. Consequently, we normally meet up halfway, at Lakeside. Not today! I said – we’re going Up West … but only as far as the East. A quick stop at Chez Sue to meet the family, with new addition Robbie (the lovely Schnauzer) and then a side stop at Westfield to view the Olympic Park (I’ve now seen it from afar when being constructed and de-constructed) thanks to Sue’s friend, who rescued us at Buckhurst Hill station when we learned the Central Line was buggered (techy term, won’t bore you with the details).
A spot of lunch thrown in (where the other bottle of rose was consumed) and we headed out on the Docklands Light Railway down to my old home, the Isle of Dogs. We didn’t misspend our youth there, really, we had an awesome time, mainly drinking and dancing and being chatted up with the same chat up line every time: “Are you two sisters?” No?! No, we’re not – I’m four inches taller and we look nothing alike. But even the waitress in Westfield asked if we were related, which cracked us up. (Sue’s the one in middle of the group shot, at the front – see for yourself!) Does everyone else get that, when you’re sat with someone with the same hair and eye colour? I think not. I can understand it when we were little because we were always together – our mums used to park us in our prams, side by side outside the shops. Now, not so much!
Our final destination was The George pub, on the corner of a street I used to live in, where my dad and brother played darts, and where I’d buy a big bottle of coke and a few bags of cheese and onion crisps for me and my mum to share while we watched M.A.S.H. Funny the things you remember so vividly, isn’t it?
One of our school friends, Jayne, decided to put a call out to our school year, thinking half a dozen of us would turn up. Cue about 50! It was rammed and great to find out what everyone has been up to and how they’ve changed. And play ‘Guess Who?’ At which point, as soon as the name was said, there was instant recognition – eyes never change, I’ve decided.
Back home the next day, for a final flurry in a busy weekend, watching my eldest in his cup final. It started so well – one – nil down to a penalty after a minute *rolls eyes* but back came the Medway Lions, with said eldest rising like a hot air balloon in a helium factory to head home the equalizer. 3-1 up with five minutes to go but he doesn’t like to let us relax – the last cup final he was in, they went 4-0 up just to be pulled back to 4-4 before running out 6-4 winners – this time, their opponents got one back to leave us all biting our nails before the whistle finally went. I still maintain it was 3-1 though, since their second goal was from their number 5 who should’ve been sent off in the first half … don’t get me started.
This weekend, I’m planning a quiet one. Apart from the theatre on Saturday night. Oh, and cricket on Sunday. Maybe next weekend?