Dining out with Alexandra was an intense pleasure that I rarely had the opportunity to enjoy alone. Alexandra liked company. So it was only because my wife had a last minute theatre thing to do that I found myself in Odin’s on a Friday night in the noughties waiting for Alexandra to arrive.
As you can see from the photograph Odin’s was a venue with a unique character, whose main feature was the eclectic artwork on the walls. Alas, the maitre d’ completely failed to grasp the nature of my relationship with Alexandra (a confirmed spinster, devout Catholic and my wife’s former history teacher) and gave me a table beneath an erotically posed demi-mondaine, perhaps thinking I was on a date.
No matter – all other creation faded into obscurity when the greatest creation I’ve ever known, Miss Alexandra Eversole, walked into the room.
Spending time with Alexandra was always charming and demanding in equal measure. Having successfully created her own extraordinary self she expected anyone else half interesting to be constantly in search of your best self; a self which she would coax and bully out of you, by turns or simultaneously. Despite being a historian she was much more interested in the future than the past. I like that.
Odin’s was the epitome of Alexandra’s regular haunts, which tended to be expensive but worthy of the expense. I liked Odin’s for its slightly worn feel. It was a friendly place. Friendly restaurants are hard to find, at least for someone with my temperament.
Fifteen years on do I remember the food? British I think? What sticks in the memory is the pudding. Regular readers will know that I rarely have pudding but with Alexandra pudding was compulsory. (‘Everyone has a pudding stomach darling.’) Odin’s specialised in soufflés so I went for that. My wife (who’d arrived for the last course) found her fig soufflé a bit sweet. I loved my raspberry one.
The acme of the excellence of Odin’s service was their provision of ice for our grands marniers. When Alexandra said she wanted plenty of ice one could never over-estimate the amount of ice she required. Waiters would be scuttled by a death stare if they didn’t come up to scratch.
That wasn’t the case on this occasion and we strolled off – as usual in this company – jolly, squiffy and pooped. Alexandra to get the bus back to Pimlico and us to the pub for a nightcap and a debrief.
To see other restaurants I’ve been to (possibly near you!) go to the GoogleMap …
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).