Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thought For Food

It wasn’t a case of ‘any excuse to get the family onto the Kingsholm Road’ but the Coles headed to that renowned thoroughfare last evening for a meal at Mangoes, a Thai café that sits opposite the famed rugby football union stadium. We’d heard fine things about the place and, without wishing to sound an utter Philistine, I had never tasted Thai food before. The food really was splendid. The adult Coles’ starter of various vegetarian treats was merry and came with two delectable sauces. My Thai vegetarian curry was temptingly tasty while the eldest Cole offspring dramatically announced to a hushed throng that his chicken dish involving noodles was one of his most enjoyable meals ever. The service was fantastic and our hostess was incredibly chatty and friendly, happily discussing our food and doing a sterling job for the Thai tourist industry with her exuberant monologues regarding the various charms of Thailand.

At lunchtime, the café becomes a sort of English establishment serving the usual sandwiches and fry-ups. Naturally I asked her – it would have been amiss not to – whether the Gloucester rugby players ever came into Mangoes and I was thrilled to learn that they all did, usually the day before a match, after the traditional ‘team run’ at the ground. With very little prompting I received all the lowdown on the lads and it transpires that (no surprises here) they are smashing blokes. Our hostess especially favours Marco (‘Very Handsome’), Mark Foster (‘Handsome and polite’) and Adam Balding (‘Very quiet and polite…comes in three or four times a week’). The young prince, Simpson-Daniel, quaintly referred to merely as ‘Simpson’, abhors tuna apparently. I got all the gossip about culinary choices and behaviour. It proved a fine evening of spicy pleasure and oval ball related small talk: what could be better?

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