Well, that’s a slight lie, but stick with it.
Our first night on the Hadrian’s Wall trail, but we weren’t walking far.
Booked into Abberley House (room NBedSS 3.5, breakfast NBrkSS 2.5),
we hit the town (or is it toon ?) and I showed Mrs RM why MumsNetters from Brampton to Silloth rave about Carlisle.
It was gorgeous (and still is). Clean, colourful, charming.
And deathly quiet. With the Brew Dog, King’s Arms, Howard Arms and Fat Gadgie ALL closed on opening night (as it were), my cask and craft options were a little limited, and there’s only so many times you can do the Spoons.
So I went upmarket, because Mrs RM is worth it (it says here).
The classy Last Zebra commemorates the end of the zebra trafficking trade in Cumbria in the 1390s, and is one of a small group of gin focused bistros in the town’s night-time quarter.
I booked a table for 19:30, which all seemed a bit unnecessary as we entered a deserted town centre.
But, perhaps due to everything else being closed, it was packed.
The Zebra had been advertising for staff last week (“Zebra handlers” ?), and I wondered if we were in for a slightly chaotic evening, but it was the most seamless and cheery service you could ever hope for. A benchmark for casual dining, perhaps.
Very good food at rather ambitious prices which I rationalised to myself (“It’ll only be the Heaventeenth once“) and some rare ’70s disco deep cuts.
No Dire Straits or Jethro Tull here, just music for lads getting to take their girlfriends out for the first time in six months.
Notionally, I had cask Loweswater Gold, but in reality it had more fizz than Mrs RM’s prosecco, and I was pretty miffed I couldn’t end the evening with a pint of Theakston in the Howard, I can tell you.
But I suspect the MumsNetters who find the Last Zebra so good won’t care about that.