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We’ve had a relaxed and convivial day here in Surrey – and feeling very fortunate too. Our main mission today was to celebrate the 14th birthday of Dawn’s nephew, Sam. Before hand I saw a message from my brother that his family’s Christmas has been kiboshed by the fact Bev – his wife- has tested positive for Covid this morning. Bev works in a school and has done throughout the pandemic, but right now staff are ‘dropping like flies’ as Dave described it.

So far we’ve been lucky – and we’re determined to keep it that way. However, seven of us did go out for a meal in Guildford to celebrate Sam’s birthday. Considering it’s Xmas eve which is normally a frantic day for last-minute shopping and catch-ups the town was remarkably subdued – as was the restaurant. We’ve eaten at Olivio before. It’s a lovely Italian restaurant based in a classic old building full of character where the staff are lovely and the food (which comes in huge portions) is delicious. Normally, this time of year Olivio would be booked out. As it was there were just two 1st floor tables taken for lunch, ours and another family group of 6. An awful situation for the restaurant but good for us as the kitchen staff had few people to focus upon.

The pair of us had eschewed breakfast in order to do justice to the portion sizes. Here’s what Dee and I shared…

We’re both fans of Calamari so this shared starter was right up our street. The Mayonnaise dip was mixed with garlic and the calamari is laced with herbs. The whole dish tastes divine as the Calamari is cooked perfectly.
My main course was Buridda, the chef’s version of a classic Genoese fish casserole dish containing mussels, swordfish, tiger prawns, monkfish, potatoes, cooked in a delicate white wine, garlic, chilli and tomato sauce. The picture doesn’t really do the dish justice as the portion size and amount of fish it contains was excellent.
Dee plumped for another fish dish. GUAZZETTO DI SALMONE contains salmon, prawns, potatoes, olives, capers, garlic, anchovies, tomato and aromatic herbs served with garlic crostini bread. – delicious and filling!

We’re now back in Tilford, chilling at Chateau Platt whilst preparing food and presents for tomorrow’s festivities. I hope you all have an equally relaxed and fun day, wherever you’re celebrating and whomever you’re celebrating with!

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