Age crisis: a birthday lunch at The Orange

It was a lovely sunny Sunday and Miss E’s birthday. It was a sad day for her (she’s no longer in her early twenties) and a good day for me (I’m no longer the only one not to be in my early twenties).

The Swedish congregation met to celebrate Miss E in Belgravia and the laidback pub The Orange. Now, most of you might know I’m not a pub fan. If you recall me uttering the words “sticky floor” and “too many paunches”, you’ve heard me in my most feisty spirit.

The Orange, however, doesn’t have sticky floors. It’s decorated in a charming country house-style, with the sun pouring in through the big windows, creating a bright and open space (no, I’m not turning into a real estate agent). The menu is exactly to my taste, and apparently to Miss E’s too. After all, she was the one who chose this pub – of course, after a discreet suggestion from yours truly.

We were four Swedes and mixed our Abba-sing-song English accents with our country-style Swedish dialects, and chatted about our lives in the capital. Mr. E has recently moved to London and we have a lot to catch up on. The topic revolved mostly, however, around Saturday night, as Mr. E showed up with conspicuous lipstick marks on his neck. Miss E and I had been out too, but left early. We blamed this early exist on said departure from early twenties.

The Orange serves wood fired pizzas, makes an enormous Sunday roast, and can cook up other light, seasonal specialties. I ordered grilled salmon with broad beens, peas and bacon. Rose the Beautiful ordered the same and Miss and Mr. E were keen on the chicken roast. All were very happy with their choices. The service was slightly wobbly, but everything was cooked perfectly, which means I’ll gladly come back and while away a couple of hours. Next time I’ll order the champagne braised rabbit.

The Orange belongs to Cubitt House, which has got three other gastro pubs in their stable. Pantechnicon, The Thomas Cubitt and the newly opened The Grazing Goat, are other strong Sunday brunch places. But I think The Orange is my favourite; it doesn’t get too busy (although I would strongly advice booking in advance) and there aren’t, forgive me for saying this, not too many toddler families around. At least not on the first floor.

We left without having dessert and strolled down Pimlico Road to get some strong coffee at La Bottega. After a sneaky visit to Cadogan Place, where we sat basking in the sun, we went separate ways, but all agreed Miss E’s birthday had been a very relaxing affair. Maybe we should make it a monthly occurrence? Clearly without any age crisis involved.


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