Steak au Something

Staying in a hotel the night before we flew was, can I just state for the record, one of the best ideas in the history of my good ideas. With everything done, packed, thrown away, cleaned and locked up, there was simply nothing to do. We got to the hotel showered, threw away our packing clothes (for one more item might have taken the bags over their weight) dressed in our finest – or at least cleanest) and sat looking at each other, suddenly with nothing to do until the morning.

Well, that’s a lie. We both had some work to do, but that makes us sound not as admirably organised. And the plan had been to go out for a final night’s dinner in London, but tiredness was washing over us, as well as some kind of encroaching lurgy that we were both trying to fight off, and there had been enough saying goodbyes already.

“We should eat” one of us grunted.
“Umph” said the other.
“Should we get room service?”
“Have you seen the price of it?”

This was a problem. Having managed to get a reasonable deal on an over-comfortable bed for the night, I had forgotten that everything in and around the room would be extortionately priced.

“There was a drive-thru McDonalds in the car park, I think?”
“T! We aren’t going to McDonalds on our last night in The UK. We’ll go downstairs to that brasserie thing.”
“Brasserie. Not brassiere. You big child.”


“Ah – that’s not quite right” my Beloved said to the waitress as she artfully swung the two plates down toward the table in front of us “One of us ordered pink peppercorn sauce – the other was a red wine sauce, I think”

“Oh!” said the waitress. She looked briefly at the two steaks in front of her, sitting disconsolately on a mound of chips, both of them with an unidentifiable smooth brown liquid in a bowl on the side.

“Sorry about that!” she said, and crossed her arms, so one steak + bowl of brown liquid got placed in front of me “Of course. I’ll go and get that changed right now”. She put the steak in front of him, removed the bowl of brown liquid and scurried off toward the kitchen … and then came back. She placed a new bowl onto his plate with a flourish. “There you are! Sorry about that!” she said, and ran away, slightly too quickly.

We looked down at the plates.

There was no disputing it – one of them must have been a red wine sauce, one a pink peppercorn sauce. It HAD to be so. We’d had one of them changed so surely it must be so. But on the plate was …

Wait. I have pictures.


“What does yours taste like?”
“Peppery gravy?”
“Um. Yes. Yes, a bit. Is yours a bit winish?”
“Not really. I mean, I suppose. It’s also a bit peppery. It’s more, you know, gravyish”

We sit and contemplate our food.

“This is gravy, isn’t it?”
“The same gravy. Twice”
“Yesbut. But but Why did she go and exchange it?”
“Shut up and eat your steak and gravy”

There is silent chewing.

“We should have gone to the McDonalds in the carpark”
“Oh, next time we are totally going to the McDonalds in the car park.”