So I’m going to prove him wrong and talk about something else.
My fascination with the Bellini started on Friday afternoon at 4.30pm when me, two friends and six children met up for kids’ tea at Giraffe. Not a place known for its serenity. More for its colouring, crayons and plastic cocktail giraffes.
After spending a weekend there, Giraffe will now be known to me for something else altogether. Cocktail hour.
‘One kid’s fish fingers and an apple juice please. Oh and a Strawberry Bellini.’
The waiter smirks. A nice, knowing smirk that makes me think the Bellini is a mother’s secret at Giraffe. A bit like that SATC episode where all the women go to Raw just to look at Smith.
We return on Saturday.
‘Weren’t you here yesterday?’ says the waiter in a pleasant, non-accusatory fashion.
I have always liked cocktails. I like the fact that it is socially acceptable to drink them in the afternoon. I like the way they make you feel; that fuzzy haze they induce almost the moment they touch your lips.
Ironically, once you have kids and have more reason than ever before to drink at 4.00 PM, there isn’t really anywhere you can go for cocktail hour with them in tow. So to be able to combine a decent cocktail (and it is a very decent one) with a fish finger tea, happy children and a restaurant environment where you’re not made to feel like a leper trying to hang onto a life that is no longer yours is to be congratulated.
Two Bellinis in and I am doing a puppet show with Beaver and the plastic giraffes. I feel completely uninhibited and Beaver is relishing fun Mummy Pig who isn’t nagging her to eat her peas. Harmony is restored. And we are that much nearer to bedtime.
So I thank you Giraffe for getting the formula just right. And as for you, Bellini. I love you. You make me a better mother.
‘See you soon,’ I say to the waiter as we leave.
‘Yes, see you tomorrow,’ he winks.
Ha ha, yes. Who am I kidding?
Footnote: my lovely new Twitter friend wasn’t sure exactly what a Bellini was. So here’s a bit of trivia. Named after an Italian Painter, Giovanni Bellini, it’s typically made with two parts sparkling wine and one part fruit juice (traditionally peach). It is widely recommended as a great brunch cocktail. So there you go, you don’t even have to wait until teatime.