A food critic for a leading Sunday newspaper missed a junction on the North Circular on Wednesday - and ended up visiting a restaurant well outside London.
"The situation was desperate. My colleague and I were on the road for nearly 90 minutes, and we hadn't even brought so much as an amuse bouche with us", explained the sweating journalist. "Neither of us had eaten a morsel since brunch, and we were actually beginning to experience hunger."
"It was like a scene from the apocalypse," the assistant added. "We found ourselves on a twisting, tree-lined lane well outside the range of the Time Out guide." "We were so scared, we stopped at a restaurant called 'The Miller and Carter', a gastropub so obscure that it didn't even have a celebrity chef."
The desperate pair were appalled at the ample parking, but hunger forced them to find sustenance. They were further taken aback by being offered a table immediately, without even showing their press passes.
"The atmosphere was unique. We were quite obviously sat within earshot of at least three tables, but at no point did anyone loudly announce the value of their property or stock portfolio," the visibly-shaken critic explained. "And the menu was strewn with laughably affordable dishes, some of which we'd never heard of."
"We chose a 'prawn cocktail' and 'garlic mushrooms' for our entrée, although for some reason these were called 'starters' by the rather parochial waitress," the assistant added. "They were a revelation: served ironically in a '70s sundae dish, the prawn cocktail in particular was a riot of kitsch charm."
"Our main courses were also very charming. I never knew garlic butter inside a breadcrumbed chicken breast was a Russian speciality, but served with pomme frites and pois, it was delicious," enthused the critic. "My assistant's 'spag bol' also looked good." The food was beautifully complimented by a bottle of Blue WKD and a 'Cheeky Vimto' cocktail, on the waitress's recommendation.
With time pressing on, the two gastronomes decided to skip dessert. But they were shocked when the bill arrived."I've eaten for less than £250 per head before, but £30 for two is barely credible," the critic explained. "I'm sure this restaurant is making a satirical comment about charity."
The critic's comments were submitted by Blackberry, but the pair have not been seen since. The only contact has been a garbled reference to a 'scotch egg' and a 'wagon wheel'. Their next of kin have been informed they are missing, presumed fed.