Yesterday, whilst the country was gearing itself up for England’s Euro 2012 quarter final against Italy on Sunday, we at Spitting Pig were busy driving up the motorway in order to set up a surprise birthday party for a 70 year old grandfather. Unbelievable as it may sound, whilst travelling to the historic city of Lancaster we actually managed to avoid any of the dreaded M6 traffic – which just goes to prove that there is always a first time for everything!
Our destination was an old Lancaster pub called The Three Mariners which is located just a few paces walk from the picturesque River Lune. It has existed since the early 13th century which makes it one of the oldest pubs in England, as well as being a perfect place for a hog roast! The stone building and beer garden were completely decked out with Union Jack Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics bunting flags which made the setting look very bright and welcoming. The landlord quickly warned us about the resident ghost in the toilets, but having been assured that she was pretty harmless we quickly got on with the business of setting up our delicious Hog Roast catering.
We had had an early start as we needed to pack the Spitting Roast van with the large hog, and enough fresh food and eating utensils to feed potentially hundreds of people. It turned out that Frank, who was the 70 year old that we were throwing a party for, was a well known character in the area and The Three Mariners was his regular local pub. All his friends, family, and fellow regulars were in on the secret party, so we knew that we had a fair few bellies to fill!
Although the weather was fairly fine, a marquee was set up in the garden for us to serve food our hog roast from. We started unpacking the van and preparing our service. Along with the hog roast, we were also serving salads and potatoes, so it was a good job that we had plenty of paper plates and disposable cutlery for the guests to eat from.
Frank and his family were due to arrive at the Lancaster pub just after 1pm, so his friends started appearing from around midday onwards. As usual, our Spitting Roast hog could not but help draw admiring attention from the punters, and I was able to have a good laugh with a few people before Frank arrived and the really hard work began.
It’s safe to say that I have rarely seen a man look as gob smacked as Frank when he first arrived and realised what was going on! There was no time for us to get sentimental though, as we quickly served him with the first hog roast meal of the day before we met with an avalanche of requests. All in all it was an enjoyable day’s hard work, and set everyone up well for watching the match on Sunday!