Welcome to Baroosh, the city centre tapas bar which is perfect for friends, colleagues and groups of like-minded people to meet up, chat, have nibbles and
get tipsy enjoy a drink or two. You can always tell which table the book club is occupying; it’s the largest, noisiest one in the place and there’s often a blonde wearing a hat (that would be me then). Hats are useful for when I’m under the weather and can’t really tend to my personal appearance.
Well, that’s how it used to be anyway.
I hadn’t been in since breaking my arm in August and a lot has changed in a year. I arrived early – before any of the other book club members – and the place was absolutely dead. In spite of music playing, it was echoey in the way that your average Wetherspoons is echoey. Where were the friendly, enthusiastic staff?
Things didn’t improve much when the rest of the group arrived (although I did make a new friend who enjoys the same books as I do, and who works at the local Asda – I really should have left her my contact details because she was cool). I felt largely ignored in spite of attempting to join conversations. I gave up and went to order a salad.
I couldn’t have the shallot dressing because it contained butter, but I could have been offered some kind of lactose intolerant-friendly alternative, surely? I wasn’t even offered condiments, such as sea salt, and the waitress disappeared – never to be seen again – as soon as she threw this plate down in front of me.
Since I’d already paid and didn’t want to make a fuss I proceeded to eat this dry, tasteless offering regardless. Yes, I know; I’m very British in that regard, and at least the lettuce was fresh. It could still have done with sea salt and maybe some tomato wedges though. What’s a salad without tomato wedges or any kind of dressing?
Saying goodbye to Baroosh means saying goodbye to the book club, but fear not – there is another one closer to my home, and I already know some of the very geeky and fun members.