Belgian food and rugby
One of the advantages of being a freelancer is that you can lunch without feeling guilty about taking time away from your employer.
On Friday I had a very enjoyable lunch in Richmond with a friend. We ate at Brouge (http://www.brouge.co.uk/), a new Belgian restaurant that has two branches, in Twickenham and Richmond. The restaurant was really nicely done, with a good quality high-end gastropup style menu and a wine list from Bibendum (http://www.bibendum-wine.co.uk/).
The real draw here, though, is the extensive selection of Belgian beers, including the up-market Deus. We opted for the lunch deal, which was a main course plus a Belgian beer at £8.95. Great value for money, and recommended.
Today I was at the Rugby, watching England get pasted by South Africa. Despite the result, it was a good occasion, although I ended up having to walk/jog the 4.6 miles to my rendez vous because the trains from Feltham station were all full after a cancellation and some delays. It took me 45 minutes.
England didn't play well, but I think they were made to look bad because South Africa's defence were so impressive. We were surrounded by pissed saffers. The great thing about rugby is that you don't have the same aggressive tribalism that you do in football, and so segregation is not necessary. But with this, I guess you lose a bit of the 'edge' that you get at football matches.
The RFU have to be a bit careful, though. They're charging a lot of money for these games, and so they're trying to make it more of a spectacle. They hired Passionata, who describe themselves as a 'rock opera' group, consisting of five presentable young ladies, to sing before kick off. Their version of the well known bit of Carmina Burana was excruciatingly bad, blending hooked-on-classics with the X-factor. Fortunately, the crowd outsang them for the national anthem.