It's twice as nice
IT would appear we've become indifferent to the changing names of public houses and restaurants and will base our decision to visit on something else entirely.
I seemed the only one of our party of four – two adults and two children – baffled by the decision to call not just a pub but a whole chain of them after a piece of functional furniture – twice. But Table Table it is.
The Oakwood Table Table, to give it its full name, is the attractive white-washed Georgian-fronted building that catches the eye at Twigworth on the road out of Gloucester towards Tewkesbury.
There was a mix-up over our booking, but staff were keen to ensure we were made to feel perfectly at home and catered for.
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Table Table does not pretend to offer food that is anything other than familiar. But that is not to do it down. Chips, burger, battered fish, etc, or an all you can eat chicken buffet, is like any food – good when done well. The trick then, to deliver the value with quality and good service. That recipe can be harder to achieve.
Our starter of cheese and salsa dip nachos, shared between the two adults was timed to arrive just as the children, aged eight and five, received their generous plates of sausage and chips with beans and ham, egg and chips (£4.99).
Our own main courses, lamb burger and fries, and classic beef burger and fries, all neatly presented on a wooden board with fries in a neat white bowl, arrived – as promised by the quite splendid waitress – in time for us to enjoy them and finish roughly the same time as the children.
The classic beef burger was £7.49, served with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and red onion, and the lamb burger £7.99, served with a yoghurt and mint dip, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Both enjoyable.
Pudding was coffees for the adults. We could have indulged in rhubarb and ginger crumble, sponge puddings, trifles or cakes. The children revelled in the chance to manufacture chocolate and ice cream concoctions from a plate of goodies which made up the Chocolate Challenge – including marshmallows, chocolate brownies and wafer biscuits (99p each).
The floor plan of Table Table gives each table a semi-private feel, some tucked away in alcoves, and some open to the floor, allowing those without children and allergic to the sight of them in public the opportunity to enjoy their food indigestion free.
Clientele was mixed and smartly attired. As the couple on the table nearest wooed one another, the middle-aged foursome behind wrestled the conversation backwards and forwards – as only experienced married couples can when still in love but fed up with their other halves directing affairs.
"I think it will be Strauss, I'm not sure which piece," said one of the wives. The husbands deflated, seeming to have lost their battle to swing the conversation to rugby.
"I don't think it's Johann. I think it's Richard Strauss," said the second wife, neither realising the hope back into their husbands' hearts by mentioning Strauss.
"Strauss – that's also the name of the South African hooker, Adriaan, who scored twice against Scotland this afternoon!"
Once you've got over the name, Table Table is actually quite good.