21 December 2010

It’s oh so random darling.

Jazz's Birthday Party at Salt Marsh, Whitstable.

The Lovely Jazz had her birthday party at the even lovelier Salt Marsh Restaurant in Whitstable through the week. She’d booked the whole place out and it was bedecked in helium filled balloons nestling on the ceiling with great trailing cords of ribbon. With some excellent retro music played on a record player with records – remember them? – by the only waitress the atmosphere was set for a rip roaring night. Don’t mind me for a moment whilst I reminisce nostalgically about records.

Salt Marsh is a lovable old restaurant without any pretensions. It has two rows of tables, one on each side, as you enter. Every time the door opens an arctic blast flushes the heat out. We learn to quickly open, step outside, then quickly shut the door to maximise heat retention. Cars coming up to the junction at Nelson Road shine their beams through the steamed up windows. It's also oppostite Oxford Mansions, home of tVC for many a year. They have a counter and a small kitchen outback through some beaded curtain, wooden floors and mis-matched chairs and tables of various sizes. So contempory, darling.

What’s on the menu? There is no menu. You pay at the end and it's £20 per head excluding drink - bottle of beer £2.95. Ouch. You go in and the mountain of food just keeps on coming. C goes, after a good hour of face stuffing, giant prawns, sea bream, olives, various breads and round after round of delicious home cooked food; “Ooh that was nice. I could do with my pudding now.” She turns to the waitress, “When is the pudding coming?” Waitress replies, “After the main course.” She thought the meal was over. Mains were steak, fish, chicken with mountains of vegetables.

It was. Two and a half hours later no one could move. After a hearty high pitched rendition of “Happy Birthday”, on helium of course, it was all over bar the post meal cigar and port.

Food was tapas, mezzo style, all big bite size and more than enough for everyone. Mediterranean, French, Spanish, English all thrown in the mix. Why not? Made for sharing and animated conversation. I like the way it’s all a bit higgledy piggledy and if you don’t like one thing then, hey, wait a minute and something you do like will come along. It’s oh so random darling. What with the Cava flowing like water, great company and conversation, not forgetting food it can only be described as a great night out.