On Tuesday night, I met up with my dear friend at Freestyle. It’s a bit of a tradition with us – whenever I’m in town, we try and catch up for dessert, and since Freestyle is kind of in the middle of us both, we often end up there. We tried out a couple of other places this year, but decided on the old favourite this time around. The last time we went, which was a little while ago, I was a little disappointed in my order. There was nothing that really jumped out at me, and when I did order, I wasn’t that excited.
I had decided even before I left home, that the “old favourite” chocolate brownie was the way to go. Don’t try anything weird or fancy if I just want a good dessert. When I arrived though, I got excited as they had a specials menu, and there were 3 things on it that got my motor running. Plus, there was a note to say they had reduced the serving sizes (and prices) to make them more suitable for 1 person. This is actually quite sensible, because most times I end up leaving feeling full and slightly uncomfortable!
Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to be about my dessert addiction. I arrived about 15 minutes early, and instead of getting my phone out, I decided just to sit and watch and listen. The place was quite full inside, and I had a seat right on the edge, so I could see pretty much everyone in the place.
The couple to my left seemed to be in their early to mid 30s, and were perhaps on a first date. The information they were exchanging lead me to believe that. I overheard that the man was born and raised in Wangaratta, and it took all of my willpower not to interrupt and say how much I love Wang and how much I’d love to live there again one day. Their meals came out, and I noticed the woman had ordered the burger. Rookie mistake, I thought. But when some of the filling dropped onto her shirt, he offered her his napkin and they had a laugh. It was quite sweet.
The couple at the table in front of me were in their (very) early 20s and also seemed as though they were in the early days of dating, The conversation didn’t flow as well, and the topics they were discussing were a little bit odd (e.g. the war in Iraq??). He also checked his phone under the table intermittently, and she looked slightly bored.
The family to my right were German. The mother and father were both very attractive and probably in their early 40s, with the 2 handsome boys probably around 14 and 12. They spoke in both German and perfect English to each other, and as I found out later, were there to celebrate the younger son’s birthday. Their manners were lovely and the family obviously enjoyed each other’s company. Watching them, I started forming another blog post in my head, but I’ll save that for another day.
Just behind the 30-somethings on their first date, there was another family of 4, this time with 2 girls that I guessed were maybe 12 and 9. The eldest girl and the father sat next to each other, and were engaged in friendly banter, with tickling and trying to tap each other on the head without the other realising. It was incredibly sweet to watch. They were also there celebrating the youngest child’s birthday.
Throughout this whole time of people-watching, I must have made eye contact with the waitress half a dozen times. It was slightly awkward towards the end, but I didn’t avoid her. I guess I was just trying to be present. There were other people that I noticed in this time as well, and I appreciated that fact that I got to be a part of their evening in a private kind of way.
My friend arrived and not long after, we ordered. I asked for the first thing on the menu which I couldn’t go past – layered chocolate and mint mousse covered in ganache and served with vanilla bean ice cream. Even the small portion was too much and I left a bit on the plate, but it was absolutely divine. Very rich but also light, and devilishly decadent. I refrained from taking a photo, because everyone does that, and you know how I don’t like to be the same as everyone else.
After almost 2 hours of catching up, I left feeling very content and knowing that I was part of something bigger; I wasn’t just wrapped up in my own little world of 2 kids, pregnancy pains and a big few weeks to come with diminished energy levels. I had experienced an insight into other people’s worlds, and it was nice. I need to remember to put my phone down more often.