It’s a big year for most of my friends and I – turning 30! I can’t believe that over the course of the next few months, almost every person I still keep in contact with will be ‘old’ – myself included.
When we were at school together, I truly believed I would have my life sorted out. I would be married (NOT getting divorced) , we would all have kids, we would live round the corner from each other, and our kids would be the best of friends. Funny how life turns out really.
Some of them still live close to my parents:
Chantelle (novel writer, wife, mother of 3 awesome kids, incredible life long friend, her blog is here)
Tiff (possibly the hardest working person I know, mother to a gorgeous girl)
Mog (real name Charlotte, new mummy to the beautiful Nicole, enjoying maternity leave) and
Becx 40 minutes down the road (newly married, firecracker, hilarious person, and lovely woman)
Gem left us to bugger off to London, newly engaged, and has the dirtiest laugh (and mind),
and I hightailed it to Nottingham (eventually, via Coventry and Grantham)
To celebrate the birthdays of Becx and Mog, along with my new bestie Tonie (you know there are some people that you just click with right away? This is Tonie. A person that just makes you want to smile and I wish I had known her longer… she would have been great to get up to mischief with), we headed to London to enjoy good food, great company and hilarious stories of the last nearly 20 YEARS of friendship!!
Gem chose the restaurant and we caught the train and tube to the Covent Garden branch of Big Easy, an american BBQ place. It is huge, extends back for seemingly miles and has a basement, and they have tried to squeeze as many tables in as possible to maximise on the location. The place was heaving at lunch time on Saturday.
We opted for the 2 hour, all you can eat & drink package at £29.50 per person. As soon as you are seated the clock starts and it’s a race against time. You can choose from the following:
THE BIG PIG GIG – LIMITLESS BAR.B.Q – North Carolina Chopped Pork, Pit-Smoked Bar.B.Q Chicken & St Louis Pork Ribs, ‘Slaw, Pit-Smoked Beans, Fries & Fresh Baked Cornbread
Lobster Fest – A Whole Fresh Lobster, Lobster Roll or Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Served with fries and house salad.
This was accompanied by all you can drink Mojitos, big easy brew, prosecco or house wine.
The majority of us went for the big pig and it arrived on the biggest platter I have ever seen. The table was long and narrow and this thing took up so much room. It was piled high with food though so we didn’t mind too much. The food was generally amazing. The chopped pork was spectacularly succulent, the pit beans were smokey and full of flavour and the chicken was moist and perfectly cooked (it is served with a pink tinge from the bbq so don’t panic)
Becx opted for the lobster roll, which looked amazing! There wasn’t a lot of it though so I didn’t ask for a bite! I also tried Tiff’s lobster mac & cheese and although I don’t like cheese it tasted great.
The food came out really quickly, the issue was the drink! Obviously at an all you can drink they don’t want you guzzling it down, but we waited 40 minutes for a round of drinks. As soon as you sit down your two hour countdown begins and so we were wanting to make the most of the ‘all you can drink’ rule (responsibly of course)
They were hideously understaffed and as 7 girls celebrating two birthdays and travelling a long way to get here, we were a little disappointed. The saving grace was Rafael, our waiter. He understood that the drinks weren’t coming out quickly enough and did everything he could to ensure we were happy.
It was a fantastic afternoon spent with some amazing lifelong friends and I would return to Big Easy for dinner again. I think they really need to sort their staffing out though. You had to book, and it was heaving so it was obvious that they knew their expected covers well in advance. The price point is fantastic though, especially in London where everything is known for being more expensive than up north.