A night out in the Summer of 2020.
We were offered babysitting last weekend, an offer too good to pass up when the last night I’d been out was I think March 13th (and a night out in London had started to feel we were breaking the rules).
It felt more surreal than anything else on the day, but I booked a table at Herd and was more excited of eating an evening meal that I had not prepared than anything else.
But the first thing that confounded us was what to wear. It felt rude not to mark the occasion without dressing up slightly (I have dressed up for random days at home when I just wanted to make the day feel different) but equally it felt a little like breaking convention, so I didn’t want to flaunt it too much as we walked past the neighbours on the way out.
I was also conscious that some might think we were taking a risk – although I am in the camp that thinks that they might have had it yet didn’t have a test as it was too early on.
When booking Matt had told us we should wait by the side door on arrival, and once we were welcomed back into Herd by the lovely Jess and Matt, we were shown where to wash our hands (and our mobiles which seemed eminently sensible) before being shown to our table. The tables were spaced out, but it did not feel odd, the tablecloths were disposable cloths and we were told which toilets to use whilst we were there.
From then on it felt like a perfectly normal night, great burger and whitebait, perfect gin and tonic, and some delicious Malbec. We bumped into some friends, who by chance were sat at the next table and I felt ridiculously excited to be out.
As we wandered home we decided to detour into ‘Ours’ (previously The Third Place) and were greeted by Raj at the door. Shown straight away to a table – they have placed discreet wooden dividers between tables, which does not feel sterile but cosy – we were handed a menu. Once cocktail orders were placed Raj came and took our details for track and trace purposes. Over excitement at being out did lead to mixing a Negroni and a Boozy Lemonade but the hangover was worth it.
I had been apprehensive, but both establishments took all the necessary precautions without in any way effecting the ambience and enjoyment of the evening. I did not feel I had taken any unnecessary risk – and it was good to wear heels.