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Gary Marshall

The Star at Harome

99 posts in this topic

so to the star on christmas eve, we got engaged after lunch there a few years ago so there's a lesson for you, don't get carried away with the christmas spirit!

You romantic bastard Marshall . That poor woman- what did she do to deserve a lifetime at the behest of your sweaty little digits? :laugh:

she was very bad in a past life evidently.


you don't win friends with salad

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We made it to The Star on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, a stop-over on the way up to Edinburgh.

We headed for the old bar, but were shown through to the new cocktail bar which is between the old and new dining rooms. The old and new does work well together, we started in the old dining room, but moved to the new one for dessert as the old one was far too hot. We thought the new room suited the food slightly better than the old room, in some respects the food has a little finesse that the new dining room complements. Nothing wrong wit the old room, but it was intriguing to see how the environment altered our perception of the food.

Overall we thought the cooking was OK, not really a destination restaurant but good to have as a local (which is I suppose is the definition of a Michelin one star). It is quite worrying that it has such a good reputation, but I fear that is more about the dire state of cooking across the UK rather than the intrinsic quality of the cooking at The Star.

I started with the signature dish of black pudding and foie gras. A good concept, but not that well executed, I thought the dish was out of balance with too much black pudding and not enough foie. The pudding was slightly dry, possibly over-grilled, and neither the foie gras nor the caramelised apple giving enough moisture to balance the dish (Note: the breakfast black pudding at the The Crown Hotel in Helmsley was better the next day). For mains I had a roast goose dish, and my partner had an enormous stack of roast pork. Not certain if Sunday is the day of roasts but the menu seemed to be dominated by them. Both dishes are good, and we really enjoyed them - but I am afraid really only a good Championship performance not Premier league stuff.

The dessert tasting plate is large and quite interesting, with a good selection of puddings. The stand-out was the Parkin with Rhubarb ice cream.

Service was fine, at times a bit too fast, with only a slight pause between starter and main, and we were asked to order desserts at least three times. We understand that last orders are at 6:00 PM but a quality restaurant shouldn't make punters feel rushed.

Overall we were slightly disappointed, as we had been really looking forward to our meal. Did we miss out because we visited on a Sunday? Were standards dropped over the holidays?

By comparison a few days later we had lunch at Martin Wishart in Edinburgh, also a one star Michelin, overall a vastly superior meal, with amazing cooking. On this showing Wishart is overdue a second star. It is intriguing to see Michelin rank both as one stars.

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To be fair Phil, I don't think The Star can in any way be measured against Wisharts. I hear what you are saying but they are totally different kettles of fish, in respects of style and execution. Completely agree that Wisharts is due for a second star and is one of my fav restaurants.

Why michelin thinks its a great idea to dole out stars to pubs is beyond me, as it sends out such mixed signals. I have always believed Michelin is in the wrong and blame shouldn't be levied at the eaterie. Is it easier to get a star for a pub set up than an a traditional restaurant set up? Who knows, but I always sense that pubs can certainly get away with more than a restaurant, in ways. Bit like a woman wearing mens clothing!!!

As for the Star, its very, very good at what it does, just note how many have tried to copy its formula. One or two embarrassingly so. I too have had a couple of iffy dishes here but again that could be said of anywhere. I think the style of the food is right on the money for the sort of place it is. Avant garde is someting it need never be or would suit it. When I go to The Star, having a big plate of pork etc is what I want not something that as been sous vide for seventy two hours. My only concern for the Star, is that it retains its honesty, in view of the addition of a chefs table etc.

Looking forward to the release of the forthcoming Michelin guide.

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it's a common mistake to compare michelin starred pubs with michelin starred restaurants, they are rated seperately, it is about best in class as it were. i know loads of people who have gone to the star expecting a 1* restaurant experience and complained it wasn't what they were expecting.

i'm suprised phil doesn't think the star is a destination place, i think it's pretty special and for me it's the total experience the character of the building etc all adding up to a unique place and worth the trip (though for me it's only a 40 min drive), don't forget the whole local food/provenance thing might be common now, but no-one was doing it when they started 10 years ago.

and come on phil, 'is sunday the day of roasts?' of course it is! and yes the kitchen does take last orders at 6pm but i've come in at 5.55 before and ordered full 3 courses without an issue in the past.


Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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I suspect I need to clarify what I meant. I wasn't doing a direct comparison between Wishart and the Star, as I fully appreciate they are very different styles. I was contrasting them based on their similar level of Michelin attainment, Wishart being a very good one star, and IMO The Star being a marginal one star (If I was being really controversial I would go as far as to question whether Michelin drop their standards to allow the UK to get a respectable number of entries. :wink:)

I do recognise it is tricky to compare a pub against a true restaurant, but I was basing my view on the quality of the food on the plate and I really felt The Star, whilst good, missed in a few areas, the starter is a good example.

I have got to disagree with both Gary and Food1 about Michelin. First do they really rate Pubs and Restaurants seperately? If so it is the first I have heard of it. I had understood that they rated all restaurants/pubs etc using the same criteria. I makes a nonsense of the system if you need to factor in the type of establishment (after all it is what is one the plate that counts the most).

Second, I am not certain any allowance should be made for the type of restaurant. I want very high standards of execution in a cafe, a pub, and a traditional restaurant. The type of food, and the way it is presented will vary, but the underlying quality and execution should be constant i.e. I don't expect a restaurant to serve a decent pint, nor a pub to have an extensive wine list.....but I do expect a pub to have perfect beer, and restaurants to know their wine and serve it correctly.

I do agree that The Star is good at what it does, it is a good local restaurant (to me up to an hours journey), and if I lived in the vicinity I would be a frequent visitor. But, I don't think it is a destination restaurant, we chose our route to Edinburgh (from Bath) to eat there, and felt it probably wasn't really worth the diversion.

I love a roast, and cook a mean one myself. But one if my pet frustrations with UK pub/restaurants is the way the normal menu disapears on a Sunday to be replaced by a roast and a few other dishes. I love a good long lunch and I love to see what a restaurant can do, Sundays are perfect to do this. I have heard the arguments that "it is what the public demands" (which I suspect is a self reinforcing proposition) and the "Chef won't be in the kitchen on Sunday" and they are no doubt true. But to me it is a shame as other countries seem to do Sunday lunch so much better that we do in the UK.

The roasts at The Star are very, very good and I wasn't complaining about what was on the plate. I was simply wondering whether Sunday is a good day to go as the menu seemed to be mainly roasts of one sort or another. Thus, did I really see it in its full glory, or was my experience compromised because it was "roast day"? Is it better to have midweek or Friday/Saturday dinner rather than squeeze in for last orders at 6:00PM on a Sunday.

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I suspect I need to clarify what I meant. I wasn't doing a direct comparison between Wishart and the Star, as I fully appreciate they are very different styles. I was contrasting them based on their similar level of Michelin attainment, Wishart being a very good one star, and IMO The Star being a marginal one star (If I was being really controversial I would go as far as to question whether Michelin drop their standards to allow the UK to get a respectable number of entries. :wink:

I do recognise it is tricky to compare a pub against a true restaurant, but I was basing my view on the quality of the food on the plate and I really felt The Star, whilst good, missed in a few areas, the starter is a good example.

I have got to disagree with both Gary and Food1 about Michelin. First do they really rate Pubs and Restaurants seperately?  If so it is the first I have heard of it. I had understood that they rated all restaurants/pubs etc using the same criteria. I makes a nonsense of the system if you need to factor in the type of establishment (after all it is what is one the plate that counts the most).

Second, I am not certain any allowance should be made for the type of restaurant. I want very high standards of execution in a cafe, a pub, and a traditional restaurant. The type of food, and the way it is presented will vary, but the underlying quality and execution should be constant i.e. I don't expect a restaurant to serve a decent pint, nor a pub to have an extensive wine list.....but I do expect a pub to have perfect beer, and restaurants to know their wine and serve it correctly.

I do agree that The Star is good at what it does, it is a good local restaurant (to me up to an hours journey), and if I lived in the vicinity I would be a frequent visitor. But, I don't think it is a destination restaurant, we chose our route to Edinburgh (from Bath) to eat there, and felt it probably wasn't really worth the diversion. 

I love a roast, and cook a mean one myself. But one if my pet frustrations with UK pub/restaurants is the way the normal menu disapears on a Sunday to be replaced by a roast and a few other dishes. I love a good long lunch and I love to see what a restaurant can do, Sundays are perfect to do this. I have heard the arguments that "it is what the public demands" (which I suspect is a self reinforcing proposition) and the "Chef won't be in the kitchen on Sunday" and they are no doubt true. But to me it is a shame as other countries seem to do Sunday lunch so much better that we do in the UK.

The roasts at The Star are very, very good and I wasn't complaining about what was on the plate. I was simply wondering whether Sunday is a good day to go as the menu seemed to be mainly roasts of one sort or another. Thus, did I really see it in its full glory, or was my experience compromised because it was "roast day"? Is it better to have midweek or Friday/Saturday dinner rather than squeeze in for last orders at 6:00PM on a Sunday.

at the risk of opening a tin of worms they do rate relative to categories and i would suspect too, country, if you think in those terms the ratings make sense across the board not just the star.

The star is consistently rated and has been for many years, one of the best pubs in the country, that it should get a star therefore is not suprising. That Gordon ramsay has 3* in london but wouldn't make 2* probably in Paris etc, etc.

sunday last orders probably is the worst time to go but that's relative in the star you are not going to get the scrapings from the walk -in, i've seen the specials board change over the course of a lunch several times.

andrew pern can't drive so the chances are he's in the kitchen as he can't get anywhere else! (and joking apart he generally is in the kitchen).

and believe me having run one, people in a pub on sunday people want sunday roast, even the box tree in ilkley does sunday lunch rather than its usual menu and i agree i'd prefer the normal menu in a place like that, but it doesn't bother me too much in a pub environment, it may also be a yorkshire thing. From memory though the star generally only does roast beef and pork on a sunday as i used to kid my self we were only going to go and have a roast lunch and of course we'd get there and it would suddenly be foie gras and turbot ahoy!


you don't win friends with salad

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:hmmm: This is going to be difficult to put into words, without sounding like a dig.

Visited the star the other night and I haven't a clue what the new look is supposed to be all about. There are now two very different looks and feel (one pub/ one ultra modern) under the same roof. It just doesn't gel. No one can say the new work isn't top draw BUT it just doesn't say this is the star anymore. It says we are a very swanky, cosmopolitan, up market west end RESTAURANT. The food does not fit the model. Wonder how long before the old tasting menu makes its debut. Does anybody know what has been the thinking behind the new 'London look'. Heard that the Perns have now purchased the other pub in the village, The Pheasent. Why I wonder? Really hope this is not the start of moving completely away from what has always made the star, an honest and unpretentious food led pub.

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:hmmm: This is going to be difficult to put into words, without sounding like a dig.

Visited the star the other night and I haven't a clue what the new look is supposed to be all about. There are now two very different looks and feel (one pub/ one ultra modern) under the same roof. It just doesn't gel. No one can say the new work isn't top draw BUT it just doesn't say this is the star anymore. It says we are a very swanky, cosmopolitan, up market west end RESTAURANT. The food does not fit the model. Wonder how long before the old tasting menu makes its debut. Does anybody know what has been the thinking behind the new 'London look'. Heard that the Perns have now purchased the other pub in the village, The Pheasent. Why I wonder? Really hope this is not the start of moving completely away from what has always made the star, an honest and unpretentious food led pub.

i understand the reasoning was it wouldn't be right in a new build extension to try and recreate, for want of a better term, the olde worlde nature of the star hence the ultra modernity, i think it works as it uses a lot of natural materials like the star but it is modern timber frames rather than old(e) oak, the only comparison i can make is the glass pyramids at the louvre , if you can't or feel it inappropriate to fake it you've got to use a different style, and it's bound to divide.

i think andrew's also done it as a push for 2* which they were unlikely to get in an obvious pub setting (though they also said they'd not get 1* unless they decided to be either a pub or a restaurant)

if you like the star as a country dining pub not much will change, you still use the original bar, there's a new bar in the new part to cope with the diners for there. I wouldn't worry too much about it losing it's character andrew is a pub man through and through, and a french 'auberge' feel is what they always aimed for with the star with the rooms and top notch but fairly casual dining.

i too hear they've bought the pheasant (nb it's not a pub, it's a hotel- and most weekends effectively just accomodation for star diners) that's no suprise, andrew told me years ago he kept trying to buy it but was turned down. why have they bought it? well my guess is as they are chocca with shooting parties every weekend during the season it will become a high end shooting lodge with it's own private dining, much like the piggery is at the moment.

what did you have to eat?


Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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I had a lango salad off the specials board. Nice lango's, salad ok. Moved on to the classic seared calves liver, which was just the job. Lovely seared pieces of liver, cut thickly. Is there anything worse than thin pieces of liver? Anyway it was cooked to a T. Misses had a platter of oysters, good and fresh. She moved onto halibut with a rarebit topping. Generous piece of fish but L said the rarebit topping got a wee bit too much and the fish was a little on the dry side. Halibut, as you know doesn't need to see a great deal of heat and quickly goes from perfect to over cooked. Never the less she enjoyed the dish, as we are not talking dry as a bone here!

My daughter had the wild mushroom risotto to start. I have to say, why does Andrew keep adding bloody cream to his risotto's. It does nothing for the dish, only making to dull the flavour. I've mentioned it to him before, so I don't feel Im being underhand. Just no blinking need to add cream, if your technique is right. Drives me mad, you get this in so many places. Its the French idea of whipping cream through the rice, but what do them lot know!!! Anyway, daughter then had the classic staple of pan fried rump of beef, thick chips etc. This was a great dish. Excellent piece of meat, which of course I had to try for egullet purposes! Its heartening to sample such a simple dish, done extremely well. This is what the star is all about in my opinion.

We all then shared a plate of desserts in miniture, which wasn't the best rendition of this dish I've ever had here. A bit dry and a little tired, unfortunately a bit boring to be honest.

The bread was excellent and they are now serving a very good (French!) butter to.

Overall, a very enjoyable bit of grub that will need further tweaking and attention, if two stars are the next target.

I'm wondering as to whether the new look will be carried through out the restaurant (pub!) once the pheasent is up and running. I could imagine some people feeling hard done by if they are dining in the 'pub' section and then see the swanky new addition, which I have to say again as been carried out to a fantastic spec. I do still feel it has to be one or the other.

Apparently, the new chef taking over the pheasent is Andy Burton, formerly of Swinton Park and now the black swan, helmsley. Can't see him wanting to be an 'overspill' kind of cook! Interesting!!!!

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i'm not sure how they make the risotto at the star, i get the feeling it's not the traditional way with onions , stock and rice, do they cook the rice seperately and then add cream/cheese etc? i have risotto nearly every time i go !

interesting about andy burton, as i said i don't know the exact plans for the pheasant as i haven't been to the star since the purchase was news.

going for a little star - lite on friday at the pipe and glass.


you don't win friends with salad

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Had a good, if not great, meal at the Star yesterday. COuldn't work out the stuff about the new areas as the restaurant seemed much as it always had--but the place was empty due to the snow, so they maybe were just using the old bit? Mrs W. had an oxtail ravioli which was lovely for a cold evening. My black pudding was over-dry, and they only had a couple of fish dishes (again cos of sup[plies I would assume).

So BUrton is leaving the Black Swan? Not surprised--not quite the right clientele I would't have thought.


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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My black pudding was over-dry,

Gary - do you need to have a word with Andrew? That is two of us who found the black pudding signature dish dry

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Had a good, if not great, meal at the Star yesterday. COuldn't work out the stuff about the new areas as the restaurant seemed much as it always had--but the place was empty due to the snow, so they maybe were just using the old bit? Mrs W. had an oxtail ravioli which was lovely for a cold evening. My black pudding was over-dry, and they only had a couple of fish dishes (again cos of sup[plies I would assume).

So BUrton is leaving the Black Swan? Not surprised--not quite the right clientele I would't have thought.

it was probably curtained off, it's where the kitchen was before so if you didn't venture out of the restaurant in that direction you wouldn't have seen it, although you can't miss the new kitchen from the outside!


you don't win friends with salad

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Has the new dining area been in action yet? Still looks very 'showroom condition'. I still wouldn't be suprised if the 'pub' dining room gets a make over, which personally I feel it requires now. As I've said theres just too big a divide in style and comfort. One screams top end restaurant, the other bit a pub. I also wonder, if can I say, boredom possibly started to set in with their set up? Its not a dig at all, I know from first hand experience, things can sometimes get a wee bit tiring, when you've done it day in day out for a long period of time. If that is the case, then I think you have to tread carefully and really think about those people who come through your front door, as well as satisfying your own ambitions.

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Has the new dining area been in action yet? Still looks very 'showroom condition'. I still wouldn't be suprised if the 'pub' dining room gets a make over, which personally I feel it requires now. As I've said theres just too big a divide in style and comfort. One screams top end restaurant, the other bit a pub. I also wonder, if can I say, boredom possibly started to set in with their set up? Its not a dig at all, I know from first hand experience, things can sometimes get a wee bit tiring, when you've done it day in day out for a long period of time. If that is the case, then I think you have to tread carefully and really think about those people who come through your front door, as well as satisfying your own ambitions.

i was there one friday night and it was being used as a trial run ahead of it's official opening and it was definitely used new years eve as i tried to book it so i think if the demand is there it is in use, i suspect, but don't know they fill the original one first.


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Definately open on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, both the new and old sections seemed full (as were the function rooms). We ate in both, as we asked to be moved because the old section was far to hot.

I actually think they work really well together with the new bar acting as a natural bridge between the two. I enjoyed eating in both sections, although I felt the food actually worked a bit better in the newer setting - but that could simply have been the heat from from a thermo nuclear radiator that was next to our table. It is nice to have the choice.

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Wow! :blink: Just read that the Perns have invested £1.3 million with the purchase of the Pheasant, Harome (soon to be Pernome!). Apparently they plan to spend another £500,000 on the refurb.

Credit crunch, what credit crunch! I really take my hat off to them in the way that they certainly put their money where their mouth is. Im just scratching my head as to how they raise such capital in these times? Partners perhaps? Nothing to do with you is it Gary?!!!! I'll have to ask when I next see him. Obviously the Star must turn over zillions a year, so I imagine that must put them in great stead.

Anyway really looking forward to seeing the end result.

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They just keep on reinvesting, the business must throw off a lot of cash, you can see the piggery has c.90% occupancy & must be generating c.£300k pa. (last time i looked when things like B&B occupancy were on my mind!) obviously not all profit but a good payback on their c.£1m investment.

The pub itself and other accomodation no doubt long ago paid for (and they bought that pre-gastropub boom). Good luck to them, they work very hard at it and do it better than virtually everyone, they should be an inspiration to everyone in the trade, it certainly inspired me as to what you can do.


Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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So are we going see you manning your own bar in another fine pub anytime soon!????????? :wink:

I completely agree they should inspire any 'gastro', restaurant operator with their steadfast dedication to the job in hand. Just hope A.P will keep on cooking at the star and it doesn't sort of become a victim of its own success.

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So are we going see you manning your own bar in another fine pub anytime soon!????????? :wink: 

i'm bound by a non-compete at the moment, and i think it would lead to divorce, but hey, let's not rule it out :biggrin:

(coincidentally two years ago last week we sold, the wounds have just about healed)


you don't win friends with salad

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(coincidentally two years ago last week we sold, the wounds have just about healed)

:blink: Where have 2 years gone???!!!! I'd have thought you'ld be raring to go by now!!!! :biggrin:


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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tell me about it! spent a year (well mrs m did) renovating a house and the rest just disappeared, if the recession wasn't here i think i may have hatched another cunning plan by now, but mrs m is naturally quite wary of my cunning plans after the last one saw her working every hour god sent :laugh:


you don't win friends with salad

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star's new venture the pheasant opens 'april 09' according to an email that's just arrived. Chef apparently peter neville an ex-star chef who's been working at hibiscus.

www.thepheasanthotel.com


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Just back from the Star. And what a superb trip. Stayed in the rooms and Room 5 is a great place to stay. Can't complain about having a snooker table in your room!

Anyway, to the food. A pre-dinner pint in the pub was a great place to start. Very homely and warm. A read of the menu was causing me great dilemmas. There are few places that I'd eat everything on the menu, but this was definitely the case.

So I went with black pudding and foie gras. I couldn't resist it. And bloody hell, it was good. An amazing combination of flavours and textures. The caramelised apple works as a sweet foil to the rich black pudding and perfectly cooked foie.

The other half went for soft boiled duck egg with a crab and Morcambe bay shrimp sandwich. This was the kind of dish GBM was crying out for. A great sense of humour in the presentation; the egg cup was Humpty Dumpty, and truly did have the taste of home that the brief was all about.

Mains rate amongst the best things I've eaten in a restaurant in a good number of years. I went for a tasting plate of duck. And where can you go wrong with confit leg, rare breast, poached duck egg, duck foie gras and a duck sausage. This was amazing cooking. Everything worked together and was above 1* cooking.

Katie had suckling pig. 24-hour cooked belly, loin, black pudding, crackling and a glass of mulled cider.

Desserts were the taste of Star desserts in miniature. Gingerbread ice-cream with chocolate chips in a brandy snap basket, an incredibly rich chocolate mousse, spiced ginger parkin, rhubarb panna-cotta and a lemon tart. Katie had the Yorkshire rhubarb, which had the parkin and panna cotta, with a glass of rhubarb schnapps.

So back to the pub for more ale and a long chat with Andrew and the staff. Fuzzy head as we ambled back across the road at 1am! Andrew firmly wants to aim for 2* and there's elements of the place that are already of that standard. If I lived nearer, I'd be there every week.

Chef's table for my 30th I feel :biggrin:

Adam

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Glad you enjoyed it Adam. My friend had the duck dish last Wednesday and said it was sensational.

I had a sneaky lunch in Manchester yesterday with a couple of reprobates at Abode, which I will write up- and it was remiss of me not to invite you along, so sorry. But it sounds as if you had a better meal than us.

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