Friday, 11 November 2011

The question at Dinner

It was during our now traditional long weekend in London in November.

We started going to London a few years ago as S had not yet been. Being British I felt it was something he had to experience after 5 years in Belgium. Despite ourselves, the first time we went, we ended up shopping like mad as we were due to spend Christmas in Melbourne and therefore had lots of presents to buy.

Last year, we managed to get rained on a fair bit before, during and after some caching, but we discovered some nice places and had a good laugh in a local Indian which was not so nice. 

But this year, it seemed a whole other something was planned.

I knew S was taking me to a rather swanky restaurant as there had been a “busy” entry in the calendar for some months at a very weird time slot. After repeatedly fishing for info, I was told we were going to dinner and that I should take something nice to wear.

It was the 11/11/11.

I have to say given the dinner reservation was only for 10.30pm, we organised the whole day so we would not be caught starving at 8pm and destroy our appetite. We opted for a visit to the Odeon at a 7.30 showing to keep us distracted, which would give us an hour to go back to the hotel, get changed and head off to wherever it was we were going.
The choice of film, in retrospect could have been better. S and I don’t often go to the cinema these days, mostly as we don’t feel there’s much worth spending 10€ on (or £18 if you head to the crap Odeon on Marble Arch). We decided to go see In Time.
S understandably was a bit tense and very conscious of being late or not having enough time so a whole 2 hours of people running to save their lives as time runs out was really not a good choice!
Anyway, unlike them, we had plenty of time as we headed back to the hotel to get changed, tummy’s grumbling.

On the underground all poofed up, I still had no idea where we were heading. The fact we got off at Knightsbridge did nothing to help the mystery as to be fair, I don’t know where most of the top restaurants are situated in London.
Even when we had a cigarette outside Harrods opposite the hotel (turns out we were a wee bit early), I had no idea. I think S was a bit disappointed I did not recognise the Mandarin Oriental hotel and therefore did not make the connection and finally figure out which Chef was cooking for us tonight! Bless.

Finally having to spell it out, I discover with absolute thrill that Dinner by Heston was the scene for tonight’s extravagance. Wahey!!!, I still can’t wipe the smile off my face (The food itself would require a post all of its own).

It was a bit intimidating having to walk through the whole restaurant in between diners who clearly felt VERY at ease in this environment and come here all the time.


So, it happened somewhere after the entrée and the main course. S shifted in his seat, took a deep breath and said “Right well, I didn’t bring you here just for the food, there was an ulterior motive.”

Now girls, you and I both know that in this kind of setting, on this special date (and nearing 11.11pm), there really weren’t a whole heap of other possibilities here.
So I tried to look innocent and asked “Really?”

“Well, you know we’ve been discussing recently about having kids and stuff, … well, … “
(Some time passes)

Cue sommelier to come and bring us the wine! Grrr.

“So, … , … , do you want to get married?”
 Cue big grin on my face.

Nervous fidgeting on my part now, followed by “Yes.”

I was expecting something to happen now, be it him leaning over and kissing me, him producing a ring, or even just saying anything to break the tension slightly.
But nothing. I think he was as excited/nervous/embarrassed as me.

“Yes, ..., of course, … , yes” and when still nothing to move the conversation on I made the fatal mistake. “Yes, … but…”. “… but I think we should take our time.”

Now, the reason for me saying this was really only to try and break the silence of silly grinning and awkwardness and continue our conversation, not to impose a condition to my Yes. Although I fear he will forever remember the “yes… but..”

Things went back to normal after that and we got distracted by our taste buds exploding from excitement at every mouthful.

Anyway, it was an amazing dinner, a great evening and for the next few days in London we walked around holding hands in the street (for those of you who know us realise we aren’t too into PDAs)
For some weird reason, I felt really grown up and adult-like walking around with my “fiancé” by my side.

Had my head so much in the clouds the next day that I managed to bump my head something fierce on a shop window causing him to burst out laughing (initially) and me to burst into tears… It wasn’t that it hurt so much after a few minutes, more that it had been an emotional couple of days and once the tears started flowing I couldn’t stop. Pathetic really, a 34year old woman sobbing quietly with a big red mark on her forehead in the middle of a shopping center in London.

We will get married on the 12/12/12. (… and then again on the 30/12/12 in Melbourne).
- that’s if we don’t kill each other and everyone around us during the planning.



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If you want to read his version of events... click here.

(That's his ring by the way. We decided we were both allowed an engagement ring.
The story of having the rings made however, will not be told here as it wasn't a very pleasant experience)

Monday, 7 November 2011