This weekend the Dunces were guests at the wedding of our friends (two lovely people who met at our wedding reception) at the historic and scenic Trafalgar Tavern
(famous for its whitebait suppers and apparently the setting for the wedding breakfast in Our Mutual Friend
by Charles Dickens).
Although we were suffering from some undetermined illness (sore throat, light-headedness, coughing and runny noses) so were unable to fully enjoy the event, we still had a really good time. The food was good (unfortunately it did not include whitebait, possibly at the bride's request) and we met a lot of interesting people, as well as catching up with some old friends and the usual gang.
Here are a few photos; please forgive their low quality which should all be blamed upon the photographer.
How could I not start with a photo of the couple themselves just after the ceremony. We are in the process of being received by them and I am blocking the receiving line in order to take a picture.
The happy couple then wandered outside for some family photos along the Thames. In this one they are posing with Uncle Horatio (I'm not sure which side of the family he comes from, but he was rather standoffish and didn't say a word to anyone the whole day).
Here are the Dunces in our wedding finery. I am sorry to say we got no pictures that show more detail of Mrs. Dunce's outfit (mine is nothing special as I wear it for every single court appearance and other similar occasion).
Mrs. Dunce and one of her oldest London friends, a Mr. R_______. When I say "oldest" I am not referring to the number of years Mr. R_______ has spent on this earth (although recently he has rather impressively cast off the shackles of 35 and joined many of us in the freedom that 36 can offer) but the duration of friendship (uninterrupted, I should also note):
The wedding was not without its intrusion by paparazzi trying to capture the moment and then cynically sell it off to the highest bidder. Fortunately equipment malfunctions prevented this particular pap from capturing any unauthorized images.
As far as the location, the review on Fancyapint.com
says "Anybody who's ever been to Greenwich knows the Trafalgar. It's a huge, handsome pub, well in keeping with its grand and historic surroundings. It's right on the river with views to the north and as a result, is incredibly popular. We usually visit this pub when we're meeting people who are new to the area and then we have to move on. It's not the pub's fault, but the tourist crowds, seemingly packed floor to ceiling, cause us to repair to other establishments, should we require quiet conversation - you'd do the same same in any tourist haunt in any city."
Comments on beerintheevening.com
are largely negative (the pub itself earns a passable 5.2/10 rating), but mainly related to the crowds of tourists and the poor state of the toilets. As far as the former goes, hard to say from our perspective as the wedding party had the entire upstairs area (including a small bar, a large dining room/dance floor, and another room which served mainly as the location for the gift table). The toilets, however, were not the best I've seen (nor even "average for a pub"). Quotes from beerintheevening give a good indication of the situation. "There is no excuse for the state they are often in." "The toilets are the filthiest I have seen in a pub for ages." "Never have I been to a pub where the toilets are consistently in such a disgusting state."
and so on. My own toilet experience at the Trafalgar Tavern went beyond mere filth; I found myself in what can only be described as my own Fortunato moment
. I went into one of the stalls and shut the door. Although it had no latch it seemed to close fairly securely, so I went about my business prepared to shout out if someone else started to enter. Fortunately no such interruption occurred so once my needs had been seen to, I prepared to make my exit (and grand return to the wedding party). But the lack of a latch which had led to my own dismay at the possibility of being interrupted now caused equal dismay as there seemed to be no surface on which my fingers could gain purchase to open the door. For hours I waited for someone else to enter, all the time working at the door, shredding my fingertips to the bone, breaking my spectacles and twisting them into a hook, sharpening my belt buckle on the floor tiles in order to dig out the hinges, then eventually writing messages to loved ones in the filth on the wall before expiring. Or else I opened the door by gaining purchase on its underside with my fingers (despite the caked filth which I spent the next few minutes feverishly washing off my hands).
Um, perhaps this is a bad way to make the transition into giving the bride and groom all my best wishes for the future. But now I have no choice. "To the bride and groom: Best wishes for the future, and may your marriage be like a clean toilet cubicle whose door opens and closes as it is meant to do." Errrr, maybe these wishes should not be thematically related to my own toilet experience. "To the bride and groom: Best wishes for the future; never mind the toilet comments."