Well sort of......
I celebrated a "landmark " birthday back in September, I enjoyed afternoon tea with friends and family, followed by the Oscar winning movie from my year of birth and had a few days away with MrS, GlamourPuss and the Prof. Quite lavish celebrations I thought, but nothing on the scale of a certain engineering marvel which shares my birthday. The Forth Road Bridge threw a festival to celebrate, ten days of partying and a massive fireworks finale. Very generously it gave gifts to 50 of us lucky people sharing its birthday. Mine was lunch for two at the Champany Inn just outside Linlithgow. (Champany.com. @champanyinn)
I didn't get around to making a booking until late last month and so on a damp, grey Friday MrS and I got dressed up and sallied out for lunch. We'd both been before, in past lives, but never together. My last visit was last century.
Not a thing had changed. Well that's not strictly true, there's been some expansion since I was last there adding in rooms and increasing the bar space. But the food and ambience was the same. That wasn't entirely a bad thing, though I think the press cuttings should be taken down and stored in an album. On a dreich day it was very comforting to go into the warm, formal dining room and eat old fashioned but delicious food. The steaks delivered to the next table looked and smelled delicious but a tad heavy for lunch. I followed my starter salad (really a lunch in itself) with salmon, grilled then liberally drippled in butter; this was a treat remember! Veggies sat on a little crescent plate but there was nothing soggy or throwback about them, they were crisp and scrumptious. So like I said, old fashioned, but done well and sincerely.
It's a big old generous room. Solid tables dressed with crystal and silver and fruit or flower displays. Spaced sufficiently far apart to prevent eavesdropping. But MrS and I drew our chairs closer in, as we always do. As we did the first time.
I was glad we hadn't come in September, I don't think it would have suited a brighter day. But in late Autumn when what little light there is fades quickly and mist rises off the Forth plain it was just about perfect.