After three months, it was with a heavy heart and lightly muscled calves that we bid farewell to Lisbon. Before heading to our next official Gadabout destination we decided to treat ourselves to a mini-holiday in Lagos. This was not the warring hell-pit in Nigeria (fully booked) but rather the Lagos on the Portuguese coast.
My brain sponge had conjured images of happily toothless fish wives crisping up under a blazing sun. However, as the train pulled in we were met with grey, torrential rain fizz. I summoned all of my stoic British resolve and lustily vowed to give it another five minutes before sinking into a funk and wishing we’d never come.
That evening we donned waterproofs and ventured out to a restaurant called No Patio. It turned out to be a candlelit food treat. The only slight disappointment was my pudding – a glutinous wobble-tower of oddly tasteless splunge (this is not a verbatim menu description). Susie reminded me that at least it hadn’t cost much. She should try telling that to my thighs.
The next morning we awoke to bright, kissable sunshine. It seemed my relentless positivity had finally paid off. We strolled to the beach where I immediately stripped to my aquamarine modesty trunks and built a comfy Sand Chair. I have been instructed to point out that the Sand Chair was invented by a Miss Susie Harrison about four years ago. Now that the legal formalities are out of the way I am free to provide photographic illustration and a handy guide in case you’re ever in the vicinity of a large expanse of sand and wish to sit in a slightly propped up position.
I always expect my fellow beach dwellers to copy my throne sculpture in a frenzy of admiration. That did not happen on this occasion. It has yet to happen on any occasion.
That evening we dined alfresco at a tapas place called Meu Limao. This turned out to be a big mistake. I am still too weak from hunger to describe events in detail but it involved insanely long waits, wrong orders, rudeness, cold food and teeny tiny portions.
Increasingly disgruntled murmuring from other diners made it clear that we were not the only ones growing irritated. The Fawlty Towers-esque approach to service meant that table neighbours began comparing notes which created a jovial camaraderie in the face of dining adversity. As I took a sip of cold beer and nibbled on a mini-sausage, I realised that this must have been exactly what it was like during the Blitz.
After a while the situation was far from funny (as this blog post demonstrates) and I decided to go inside and cancel the rest of our order. I expected to find harassed staff buzzing around but not a single waiter or waitress was in sight. Officially irked, I went looking for the kitchen to stop the order at the source. I plunged through swing doors to find a large kitchen inhabited by two teenage girls wearing what looked to be showercaps. They weren’t actually showering although that would have added some much needed spice to this paragraph.
As I advanced towards young Delia and Nigella, they backed away with a look of horror not seen since Christopher Lee hung up his cape. Their surreptitious shuffle towards the steak knives was interrupted by a voice from behind me.
“Can I help you?”
I spun around to find a woman of close to 6ft looming over me dressed head to toe in black. Her smoothly impassive face gleamed whitely like plastic garden furniture. If I had known that canceling our order would involve a dangerous confrontation with the vampiric Queen of the Undead I would have sent Susie.
There was just enough time to make a furtive sign of the cross before explaining the situation. She responded with a stare so icy my nipples instantly sliced my t-shirt to shreds. Through gritted (possibly fanged) teeth she eventually replied “I apologise for that” while somehow making it sound exactly like “it’s your fault”.
“Tapas is not meant to come all at once” she patronised. This raised my officially irked status to completely pissed off (sorry mum) and a vein began throbbing wildly in my neck. This seemed to distract her so I took the opportunity to explain I understood the concept of tapas and it did not involve bringing cold food we hadn’t ordered at 40 minute intervals.
There was a long pause before she finally said “I apologise for that” somehow making it sound exactly like “your weirdly sharp nipples revolt me”.
Filed under: Exploring, Lagos, Restaurants, Things to do | 5 Comments
Tags: Lagos, Lagos Portugal, No Patio Lagos, Portuguese coast