EDitorial ± 31-Jul-2009
Light Lunches: Milsoms, Kesgrave
So this is how it ends after 22 years of commitment, professionalism and an unswerving dedication to the tea point. Grenvyle's last day at the ex-GPO, and that ticking you can hear is his Ratner's carriage clock. With that pay-off burning a hole in his crinolines, the gang of four -- the G/E/A/K squad -- is off to somewhere a bit special.
Less than 5 minutes in the car, a short stroll past the Park & Ride, nip down Hall Road and it's bienvenue a Milsoms. Formerly the Ryes School, the Milsom Group took over Kesgrave Hall a year or two back, adding it to their poshy-washy portfolio that already included Le Talbooth and The Pier at Harwich. We haven't been anywhere this out of our league since the Waterfront Cafe at Woodbridge.
Along the driveway, find a spot to park (wot no valet?), walk down the steps and behold the welcoming white hall. Quite a site, what with its huge lawn of which Mr Fussy would be proud (presence of a helipad is unconfirmed though there's definitely a windsock) and its enormous covering/parapet arching over half the patio. Brilliantly sunny today causing the bright white tables and chairs to scorch your retinas. Eat inside, eat out, it's up to you. We grab a table outside and it's not long before we're batting away the odd wasp.
Milsom manners dictate that you, the punter, scribble your order using a humble pad and paper, and either take it inside or hand it to a waitress. This we do, then sit back, sip long OJs and smell the money. Service is, shall we say, unrushed. Let's say that I'm glad I've booked this afternoon off. Food arrives and is fantastic, my braised lamb shoulder falling off the bone into a pile of Provencale puy lentils. I've a feeling we're not in Kenny's any more.
Time's up -- no pudd, alas -- but there follows a positively Glasswellian wait for coffee. Platitudes are exchanges, pleasantries said, and the G-man, like Shane, drives off into the mid-afternoon sun.