It’s Artbeat season again, from June 15th until 25th at Clarendon Park:
Sadly in the years since I helped run the festival there has been trouble at t’mill – or whatever the CP equivalent is (t’deli?) – and the people who used to run it are no longer in evidence. The current festival is a valiant effort but really it needs a whole army of people subdivided into regiments, each dealing with a particular area. Kudos to those now taking up the reins, but it is sad to see Artbeat a shadow of its former self. Still, we enjoyed Greenshoots Ceilidh Band (playing not ceilidhing) a scratch classical guitar concert (very good) and a beer festival at the club. I had a half of Tiny something followed by a Blind Badger (or similar) and a third (good idea to do thirds of a pint) of Witch’s Milk. That’s not remotely accurate by the way because I became totally befuddled by a veritable feast of deliciousness at Chettinad and immediately forgot the names of the beers: I should’ve kept the programme.
If you haven’t been to Chettinad I urge you to rectify this immediately. It’s run by the same people as Shivalli and the food is utterly exquisite. For starters we had plates piled high with paneer in a sauce with a small dosa on the side (for me) and something with chicken in (for Jan.) These starters were so huge they could almost have been a main course and I was beginning to regret having ordered a thali. Fortunately there was a long gap between courses, during which I finished my mango lassi and we talked about Germaine Greer (don’t ask: I may get to her in another post). Then came the thali. Oh my god, I thought. Am I going to get through this? The answer was of course no, but I did have a great time trying. There were the usual selection of curries, ranging from mild to hot, plus chappatis, saffron rice in exquisite shades of orange and yellow; and to follow, a gulab jamun. I asked them to pack up what I couldn’t manage and I will tackle it this evening. The service, too, was a delight, full of jokes and anecdotes about Tamil Nadu where the cuisine comes from, and such a refreshing change after the corporate smiles and generic conversation of the average restaurant chain.
Back to normal today: Quaker meeting followed by gardening and of course the episode of ‘Casualty’ that I missed.