Sorry about earlier. I was trying to do something funky and typepad got upset it seems and just posted a blank post, I apologise. I've been writing a work memo all afternoon and didn't notice I'd messed up until I saw your comments arrive in my inbox.
I am fine, and the baby seems fine too. I listened, gently, to the heartbeat yesterday and it was still clocking in at a steady 148-150 bpm. That makes me happy. The bleeding seems to have all but stopped, so that make me VERY happy. There is still a tinge of brown on the loo paper, but it's just a tinge now, not a discharge any more, so I figure it's mostly gone. I've only seen red once, on Wednesday night, so I hope to all the powers that be that it's over. Nothing like tempting fate, eh?
We had a totally splendid meal yesterday. We started lunch at 13:30, and finished at 16:45, so it basically took the whole afternoon. We both had the tasting menu, and H had the wine tasting menu along with that and so was pleasantly pissed by the end of the afternoon. I have rarely coveted a glass of wine more. I did smell each glass and sipped a little of one or two of them, and they were all very delicious and quite unusual. Service was fabulous, and they were perfectly happy to substitute various dishes for me to deal with my pregnancy restrictions. The only one I didn't get an alternative to was the first dish, the nitro-green tea and lime mousse, which is egg white whipped and flavoured, aerosolised into a vat of liquid nitrogen at the table, stirred, removed onto a spoon, dusted with green tea powder, and then a lime and vodka mixture is spritzed into the air around you so that you are surrounded by the flavour. I got H to describe every sensation to me, though, so I didn't miss out too badly.
In terms of substitutions, they were very precise. For example, the salmon dish came with a mayonnaise. I told the waiter who took our order, when he explained this, to just give it to me without the mayonnaise, but he blanched and told me that was out of the question. Instead I got a whole different dish, a variation on sole Belle Helene, with truffles inside a small fillet of sole, a parsely foam, a caramelised grape, and champagne gelee, topped with "onion rings" (an approx 3cm by 6cm composite of multiple wafer-thin spring onion slices, baked very slowly to sweeten them and stick them together). Instead of foie gras I got a beautiful cep, big fat slices grilled then coated with crushed amaretti, with tiny cubes of amaratti gelee, and almond mousse. Instead of the oyster starter I got a tiny portion, served in a huge glass cocktail dish, of a smoky lentil dish flavoured with black peach and thyme. Attention to detail was such that I was served a personalised butter pat, made with pasteurised butter, while H got to choose from a range of salted and unsalted, pasteurised and unpasteurised butters for his bread.
The only flavour that didn't work at all for me was in the the 'oak moss and truffle toast' dish. This arrived as a large wooden crate of oak moss, which was placed on the table. Perched on it were two small plastic containers, shaped like those containers which hold mouth fresheners that are shaped like small rectangular films. Inside each container was a film which we were told was flavoured with oak moss, a relative of the truffle. On a separate dish, which arrived separately, was a small, thin piece of toast with tiny pieces of truffle on it. We were told to eat the film, then start on the toast, as the flavour released by the film would intensify the taste of the truffle. At the same time the server poured boiling water onto the oak moss, to release the scent. I HATED the flavour and texture of the film, although the toast was delicious (I don't like those mouth fresheners, either).
H's favourite dish was the lamb, which was superb. I think mine was the sardine on toast sorbet, which was served with the thinnest slivers of fennel, tiny fragments of daikon and another seaweed, a wonderful toast/parmesan composite which was exquisitely thin and very strongly flavoured, and a single, 1cm in diameter, piece of perfect mackerel. Each dish was exquisite, with china designed to complement each dish. For example, the tea jelly, which was part of the second desert, was served in a jagged-edged white cup, I think made to look like a boiled egg after you've broken the top off - this desert dish was flagged as "now we'll make you breakfast". Even my tea at the end of the meal was served with great ceremony, and accompanied by perfect chocolates, flavoured with fresh mint, and served in a hollowed-out cacao pod, on a bed of cocoa nibs.
They don't stint once you are there, for example they refilled H's glass when he'd finished his wine serving before the end of a particular course, which is unusual in my experience for tasting menus. It was worth every penny, and no more than H deserves given how wonderful he is. I'd do it again, but I'd love not to be pregnant next time (i.e., in about a year's time if you build in breast-feeding, thank you very much).
Coming up, I hope, are some more non-totally-pregnancy-related posts. I can imagine those are becoming a little wearing.
P.S. For those of you puzzling at the non-kosher-ness of some of these items, I should explain that I am a bad jew, who due to my family having lived in the UK for over 400 years at this point, and therefore having forgotten or lost many traditions and observances, wasn't aware til I got to my teens that as a jew I was not supposed to eat shellfish. I had figured out the pork bit from childrens' books, so I always knew that one. I still don't eat pig products, which meant I just avoided them on this menu, but I never quite managed to feel that shellfish were really not to be eaten. Except now I'm pregnant!