Well, I can hardly believe it’s over a month since my last post. I’m ashamed, heartily ashamed. Not that anyone ever reads this so it doesn’t really matter! But I feel I’ve not only let myself down, I’ve also let my poor laptop down. For six weeks now it’s been neglected, the only attention it’s known is a fleeting peek at Facebook or occasional online banking. It’s just not fair – a laptop isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life. Or about 4 years, realistically if I’m lucky.
So what on earth occupied me to make me such a bad laptop owner? Have I been trekking across the Sahara? Working for a charity out in Africa, perhaps? Errrm, no. The truth is, I just don’t know where the time has gone. It started with work being busy, that familiar grindstone of feeling like all you seem to do is flap manically around the office, come home for dinner, sleep (again if you’re lucky) then woo hoo it’s back to the office again before you’ve even finished your breakfast cuppa and slice of toast! Then, the usual workload was intensified by the fact that….surely not….I was going to have some TIME OFF!! Why is it, that when you have some leave coming up, be it a few days or a week, that you think the world might end if you leave the building without having done everything on the ‘to do’ list? I mean, it’s not like my job is particularly important, the world most definitely won’t come to an end because I’m not there holding the fort. Yet I have this unconscious urge to work like a person possessed in the days running up to going away.
And in the past month or so I’ve been lucky enough to have a few bouts of going away, starting with a birthday weekend in Bath. I’d only been to this beautiful city for a days shopping trip years ago, so I was looking forward to spending some more time there. In true treat style, my boyfriend had booked the whole thing – a lovely little hotel just 10 minutes walk from the centre and places to eat on the two evenings we were there. His choices were well made. The first night – my actual birthday – we went to a hidden gem of a place called Sotto Sotto.
Situated in the cellar, as many bars and eateries are in Bath, the atmosphere is far from cold and creepy, in fact quite the opposite. Warm and welcoming is a much more accurate description with the attentive Italian waiters offering true customer service. As we’d had something of a large lunch, we weren’t very hungry and only ordered a main meal, but we did start with a glass of Champagne each – well, it was a special occasion! Our pasta dishes were moderate portions, but these Italians definitely know what they’re doing, as the volume was actually just right and the taste was absolutely spot on. My dish of linguine in a vodka tomato sauce gave a bit of a kick without going over the top. My boyfriend chose creamy tortellinis with porchini mushrooms and judging from the smile on his face I can report that these were as pleasing as my meal.
Sadly, it’s a long time since I’ve been to an authentic Italian restaurant and having been somewhat blunted by the mediocre service in all those chain places, I’d forgotten about that cheeky Italian personal touch. After enquiring if it was a special occasion (hence the Champagne), not only did our waiter establish that it was my birthday but he also managed to catch me off guard and find out my name. Immediately suspicious, I wasn’t too surprised when three waiters appeared at our table singing “Happy Birthday”, interspersed with enthusiastic cries of ‘Kate!’ thrown in. Naturally I turned a bright shade of crimson and giggled into my hand, secretly mortified that the whole restaurant was now gorping in my direction. But I was most grateful for the gesture, especially when they placed a white chocolate profiterole skewered by a lit candle on the table in front of me. This really was a nice touch and despite claiming we were both full to capacity, we devoured the pastry desert between us (minus the candle) then guzzled the shot of lemon liqueur which seemed to be served complimentary to every customer.
With just one (ok, somewhat extravagant) drink each and two main meals to pay for, this was quite possibly the most reasonable yet enjoyable meal I’ve had in a long time. The service really was exceptional, with no guilt vibes in our direction for only having one course each, and the food was so tasty and expertly cooked that we would have been happy to pay more than the menu requested. Yes, I would recommend Sotto Sotto with bells on. My only regret was not getting any photos when we were there, but what with the low ceilings and having already suffered the embarrassment of the birthday song, I thought better of blinding my fellow diners with a series of bright camera flashes, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to use your imaginations.
Sotto Sotto wasn’t the end of the culinary delights that Bath had to offer on this celebratory weekend, but after over 800 words, I think the rest will have to wait for the next blog, which will definitely be in less than a month’s time!