Come In With Me – Sal Page

I’ve got this fantastic idea for a new eatery. All the other restaurateurs will wish they’d come up with an idea so great. They’ll be green with envy. Overcooked peas green. Yuck.

What are the messiest foods you can think of? Never mind. I’m thinking baked camembert served with caramelised onion chutney and French bread. Sounds good, yeah? Messy though. Also spaghetti ‘n’ meatballs à la Lady and the Tramp, barbecued chicken wings smothered in hot sauce, sticky toffee pudding with ice cream & gooey chocolate fudge cake. Given time I’ll think of some more. All for sharing. Sharing for two.

And, wait for it – oh my god, I’m brilliant – we’ll serve it all in those trays that go across baths. They usually just have soap and a loofah in. I’ll get them specially made. The guests go through to their private room, get undressed and climb into the bath, which would be all ready with bubble bath in the perfectly just-hot-enough water. A choice of temperatures and bubble bath brands would be on the menu.

It’ll be a totally unique restaurant. Food in the Bath. Should I move to Bath to open it up? Nah, it’ll be fine here in Dudley. It’ll put Dudley on the map. Yes, I know it is strictly speaking on the map already but you know what I mean.

Couples, yes. And we could provide rooms for afterwards. A bedroom en-suite to the bathroom. Now there’s a selling point. Basically, we’ll be a hotel too. Why not? But not necessarily couples though. We could do singles nights. Guests would get paired up by the fact they’d chosen the same dish or the same kind of bath stuff.

I can’t do this on my own, you know. I’m hoping you’ll come in with me. What? No, not in a bath. I mean invest; help set it all up, be front of house while I’m in the kitchen preparing and cooking the food.

Er … unless you want to. Actually, what better way to test the idea. Come round to my place later. I’ll do the baked camembert one. Got to be the messiest, eh? We’d tear pieces from the baguette, break through the rind and dip into the cheese. All warm, oozy and gooey in the centre, with a taste like delicious old socks. We’d twist the bread fast to keep the unctuous liquid cheese from dripping off down chins and onto chests or breasts. There would be flakes of baguette crust on the mounds of bubbles around us, splats of cheese on the tiles. We’d eat fast, giving each cheesy bread-morsel a quick dab of the sweet chutney before popping it in. Talking. Laughing. Eating. Drinking. Getting messy.

And then sealing the deal on our new venture. What shall we call the restaurant? Bath Night? The Tub? Bath Time? We can discuss that later. In the bath.

So, what do you think? Are you with me? Hey, come back. What did I say?


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SAL PAGE’s stories appear online & in over a dozen print anthologies. She won the Calderdale Prize in 2011 & Greenacre Writers Competition in 2013. When not distracted by writing, reading and performing flash and short stories, she’s tackling her third novel, Priscilla Parkin: Reluctant Celebrity Chef. A nursery cook, she lives by the sea in Morecambe, UK. When not writing, and also while writing, she can be found watching sitcoms, listening to Squeeze & on Twitter as @SalnPage


Image: Petra D via Pixabay


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