Everyone likes to be nosy. The fascination with our fellow humans occupies a lot of our time. You’ve only got to look through the TV listings to find programmes dedicated to satiating the needs of trunky-want-a-bun viewers.
You can spend half an hour watching people struggle with their hysterical toddlers, swapping wives with the rich and tasteless, or wasting licence-payers’ money buying valueless rubbish at car boot sales. The ultimate people watching programme, Big Brother is back on our screens for an interminable three months, throughout which you can watch nonentities laugh, cry, fight and pretend to have sex.
A cheaper and more wholesome alternative to all this goggle-eyed voyeurism, is to buy a nice cup of tea at a beach-side cafe and watch the beautiful people strolling by. Which is exactly what Cat and her friend did in Ventnor one blustery summer’s afternoon.
For those that live in this southerly seaside resort, every day must feel like a holiday. Or like living in Britain in the good old days. Cat and her friend found people to stop and chat with at every turn. The greengrocer proudly announced that he only sells vegetables in season, there are no plastic carrier bags littering the streets and policemen on bicycles dinged their bells in a friendly salute. After all of this old tyme town meandering, a cuppa was required and Cat and chum tottered down to the seafront on the recommendation of Suze of Suze Room.
Despite the cool breeze, it is compulsory to sit outside in the summer and Cat and pal were fortunate to find a vacant table at the Beach Hut Diner, one of the many eateries along Ventnor’s esplanade. Grabbing a menu, they settled in to see what food their tea should wash down.
The menus, unsurprisingly, offered typical cafe fare; breakfast, sarnies, jacket spuds and burgers. For those with a smaller appetite, there are kids and OAP menus too. Cat decided to go with the extremely locally-provenanced Ventnor Bay fresh crab sandwich and a cup of tea. Her companion ordered breakfast, which came with tea as standard.
Two piping mugs of the brown stuff were delivered followed shortly afterwards by the food. Cat, having broken her reptantia duck on the lobster tagliatelle at The Taverners, was keen to try crab. It did not disappoint. The sarnie’s generous filling of crustacean flesh was tangy and most pleasant. The bread was lovely and soft and a pleasant little side salad, crisps and segment of fresh lemon completed this satisfying lunch. The breakfast, declared ‘great’, was soon polished off.
And, as for people-watching, Cat and her friend were distracted from their food by the sight of a bridal party trying to retain their decorum whilst the shoreside breeze whipped up pashminas, dislodged carnation buttonholes and threatened to topple architectural hairdos. Even with the wind causing such chaos, those who want more anarchic nuptials can try ‘Totally Jodie Marsh: Who’ll Take Her Up The Aisle?‘…