I knew it was worth spending a week's wages on stretchy clothes for Lisa. She was so grateful, she insisted on taking me out for a romantic candlelit meal last night. With her sister. And a friend.
We're very discerning when it comes to restaurants, which is why we spend a lot of time at the McDonalds drive-thru, so we decided to go to The Green Man in Ringmer, purely because it featured on an episode of The Apprentice the week before last. It's where Team Alpha discussed adding chili to their avocado ice cream. Unfortunately, having phoned them up, we discovered that the Green Man's more of a Red Man after 7:30pm. They close the kitchen early on a Sunday, and if you're not finishing your potatoes by seven, you're unlikely to see a dessert.
So we changed our plans, drove over to Portslade, picked up our dining companions, and headed for Hangleton Manor. Where they said they were full and refused to let us in.
Keen to find somewhere before hunger caused me to faint at the wheel, we made straight for the A27 and drove west with very little idea where we were going. Actually, that's not true. We had no idea where we were going. But like an oasis in the desert (or should be dessert?), this place soon hoved into view...
It's the Sussex Pad Hotel. Although we thought it was a pub when we pulled into the car park. We eventually realised it wasn't when we looked at the prices on the menu. But fortunately Lisa was paying so it wasn't a problem.
Anyhoo, it's a nice little place opposite Shoreham Airport, commanding spectacular views of the traffic lights on the A27, and according to the sign on the door, it's recommended by the Michelin Guide. Frankly it wasn't hard to see why. They might have charged fifteen quid for a main course and £5.50 for a pudding, but it was worth every penny. Not that it cost me anything. My fillet of sea bass with butternut squash and sweet potato puree, served with a pepper and orange sauce, was fantastic. But not as fantastic as my flambéd pineapple with Grand Marnier, butterscotch sauce and coconut ice cream. My taste buds thought they'd died and gone to heaven. It was probably the nicest meal I've ever had. Although let's face it - a McFlurry's only £1.09, so there is some room for improvement.