Entertaining two teenagers in Taunton is one of life’s great challenges, somewhere alongside an appreciation of Donnington BB, or the removal of the breweries section of the GBG to make it less bulky.
Last time out I found the award-winning Somerset museum closed on Sunday, now it was Monday in the school holidays.
Luckily (?),we had the Emoji movie to fall back on. Like falling back on a spike.
Swerving the retro appeal of Biddy’s, I gave Matt and his mate a choice for lunch. Spoons or nothing. Everyone likes Spoons.
The Coal Orchard is not, perhaps, a classic of the Spoons genre. Packed with diners, and lacking much space and light, all I could see were a handful of uncleared tables near the loos. They’d do.
Shoppers prowled the darkness like Zombies, urging lingerers to leave. I didn’t want to go to the bar and lose our tables, scummy as they were.
So not only a new GBG tick, but a valid reason to use the Spoons App.
And it works. Two minutes to set up, and then a string of orders of nachos, chocolate fudge cake, J20s and a half of Doom Bar. And a lone filter coffee I felt oddly guilty about getting brought over.
As noted on the web, the App does restrict you a bit. No guest beers, no vouchers (or 20% off food I’ve just noticed on WhatPub) and you have to chance a rush to the coffee pot for your free refill.
Let me say for the record, the Doom Bar was very decent (NBSS 3.5, for the cellarmanship). As the boys were on a separate table to me, I had the joy of a bemused look from the Spoons staff member who delivered the beer to the boys. I intervened before he consulted his training manual.
The real problem was, this was all I saw for an hour. No human contact, except to say “Thanks” to the chap bringing a succession of plates and cups, and a word to placate two 16 year olds who’d had to wait more than 10 minutes for their 2,000 calories. I really missed the queueing at the bar, the argument about who was next.
The banter from a group of Somerset old boys was the sort you get before any group of lads sets off for an away game on the first day of the new football season. Memories of a Plymouth Argyle cup tie against West Brom in 1962. It’s always 1962 in Plymouth.
As we left I noticed the Otter. Damn you, Spoons App.