This post follows on from last week’s, but not with the theme of feminism – I think moderation is key for that. I am now a week into my Easter holidays, and enjoying the choice of food available as well as the TV, but most of all the piano. I have missed playing music sooooo000ooOOOO much. Considering bringing a keyboard back to university with me, despite the thin walls because I’m worried I might go insane otherwise.
Anyway, the day before I came home was Mumski’s birthday and so, to celebrate, we paid a visit to the Saracen’s Head in Beaconsfield. I have actually been there three times, so you could say we are well acquainted. The interior is extremely attractive, with big wooden tables, soft lighting, glass decoration, and always busy, so a lovely atmosphere.
What is noticeable about the p – hang on, I just looked it up and I’m profusely apologetic. It is not the Saracens head but The Royal Saracens Head. Pardon me. Anyway, what is noticeable about the pub is its modern menu: it does not splutter ‘old worn down pub’ from behind its smeared beer glass, but rather grins wickedly, and proffers a stylish, up to date and original menu from its manicured hand. It offers something unique. Whilst Beaconsfield is, admittedly, a well-to-do town that would have something to say about a dingy pub frequented by gambling addicts and avoided by everyone, save the regulars who have been kicked out of everywhere else, this pub is still a twist from the ordinary, and modernises the town.
Our family being very partial to sharing platters, particularly ones that remind us of our sailing holidays in the Mediterranean, went for a Mediterranean Mezze starter. Baba ghanoush, harissa hummus, tzatziki and fried aubergine accompanied by flatbread arrived on a rustic board which we all fell onto instantly (especially my sister who went on an hour long run that afternoon and was ravenous). Whilst I have spent my life faintly suspicious of hummus, I thought this one was exquisitely flavoured, with a smooth yet slightly gritty texture that gave it authenticity. The aubergine was packed with spice, although personally I think the fried finish meant too much breadcrumbs and not enough aubergine.
First course down and very well received, on to the next. Mum, being the birthday gal, went for the special of swordfish steak served with Greek salad. Had it been my birthday, I would have chosen that too. The non-oily, perfectly cooked fish was complimented perfectly by the freshness of the tomatoes and cucumbers, with the strong feta cheese to add structure to the dish. Top marks, your Royalness. My sister chose the burger. A meaty, juicy burger with the saltiness of the chorizo and the crispy chips was a substantial, hearty meal packed with gusto and just enough chic to prevent it ever being compared to a MccDonald’s quarter pounder. My dad had the spit roast chicken with aioli which fell apart and was melt in the mouth and deliciouly rich. I decided on the more oriental duck salad. My decision came from the fact that there was a lot of Asian-inspired dishes, such as the lamb koftas and I wanted to the row the boat out a little. Crispy duck tossed with mooli, sesame seeds, carrot & cucumber in a plum & hoisin sauce was its official description, and so it was, but it was an awful lot more. I savoured the pickled mooli as the juices melted on my tongue and its crunch crept along with the variety of textures that swum round the crispy duck strips. Don’t really remember the sesame seeds, but I definitely remember the plum and hoisin sauce. They can often be sticky, heavy and overpower the rest of the ingredients. Not here. It was more of a dressing, light enough to be a dressing but strong enough to excite the dish. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Your Majesty Saracen, you are great. If I may be so bold, continue your good work.
Since returning home, I have become acutely aware of the fact that I am growing up. My friend and I had a sleepover, and as we went for a walk the next day, we wondered whether we could still get away with sleepovers. We talked about Year 9, and Year 10, and Year 11, and I found myself faced with the realisation that before, all our lives were the same: we shared lessons, school, and weekends. Now, our lives are our own and we choose what happens with them.
I suppose I never stopped to think that growing up would happen to me.