EDitorial ± 3-Apr-2009

Light Lunches: The Garland, Rushmere

Last week we ticked off one of the best named roads in town, that being Coprolite Street near Coffeelink. This week it's time for another, the marvellously monikered Humber Doucy Lane, home to Ipswich Wanderers FC, severe speed bumps and a pub. Stare long and hard into that tiny photo and you'll see some lovely lettering proclaiming this to be The Garland on (lower-case) humber doucy lane.

During a discussion about remaining eateries within biking distance of IP5 3RE, I'd mentioned this place. As it happens, our regular chauffeur returned from the G20 so that was all by the by. Outside on an overcast day is a sign saying "lunches all day", which is handy. Inside on the bar is a menu listing those same lunches, which is spooky. I'm already underwhelmed by the poor soft drink selection. Only one J2O flavour, no ginger beer, and I'm left with a miniscule mixer ginger ale: this ain't no Cherry Tree.

That menu is a brilliantly boiled-down to the bone selection of yer typical Englishman's essentials: chilli, curry, lasagne, chips, pie. Wot no lunchtime specials. On the flipside, it's straightforward to pick from so few options, and, to be fair, there's baguettes too. We order and take the drinks over to a free table among the horse brasses. On the wall hangs a clock from HMS Bear, like some discarded National Treasure prop. Half expect to see Nicolas Cage loitering nearby: why the long face?

We sit, we chat, we wait. And wait. HMS Bear ticks. And tocks. We started off hungry. We become hungrier. Should have bought a bag of salt & vinegar for starters. At last, a bloke who's chatting on his mobile brings our food over: "Pie?", he asks. I take this to be an oblique reference to the irrational number and mathematical constant since we've been waiting this long:

pi x 10 minutes

Course, my sausage & onion pie + mash + soft cabbage + carrots was very acceptable, but this was through the distortion field of that mauvais demi-heure, like what the French say. Plate was quickly cleared. Grenvyle's choice of the classic Dr Seuss dish, eggs and ham, also looked the part. No stinting on the mustard either, given that we had three sachets plonked down on our table. We dabbed our lips and didn't hang around for coffee.

If it was a car -- Humber Hawk.
If they were passing by -- Michael Smith.