Most of my meals are eaten at a desk these days and involve a canteen baked potato, beans and a plastic fork. So I leap at the chance to get a pub Sunday roast.
I love food. I do. And when I finally get out of this city it will be one of the few things it serves up that I will miss.
Since moving here I've discovered that I love Thai food, like my steak rare and cod black. Lobster and caviar are nice – but overrated. Vietnamese food is great and cheap – and proof that if pancakes look like they’ve been rolled from flayed skin, you should still give them a try. Sushi – especially when hacked into pieces in front of you at Sushi-Hiro (off the Common, Heston Blumenthal rates it) is the business. I’ve eaten earl grey and lavender ice cream (flavours I dismissed as soft and southern, but which actually made my knees knock). I’ve even nibbled on Stinking Bishop cheese.
Most of this has only been possible because of the food reviews I did at my last job, otherwise I would still be thinking macaroni pies were as thrilling a taste fusion as it gets.
But since being diagnosed with coeliacs, the shine has gone from eating out. At the pub I have a quiet word with the waitress and she presents me with a new menu, with the gluten-tarnished dishes scratched out.
I cast my eye past the scribbles and ticks down to the roast. I knew the Yorkshire pudding was a no-hoper, but the 'gravy' also has a big blue biro line through it. I catch my breath.
I order a potato.