To get to the barn that houses the main retail area of the wine bar you have to cross the courtyard out back. When the weather is mild, the courtyard is also a pleasant place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine. In the far corner of the courtyard there is a large table fashioned out of an old French door painted blue and mounted on rod iron trestle legs. It is large enough to seat ten comfortably. In fact it may seat ten too comfortably, which would at least partially explain its evil influence. For when one sits at the recently christened Witches’ Table, one rarely leaves the wine bar sober.
Husband and I fell under the spell of the Witches’ Table earlier in the summer at the sardine bbq. This is the only explanation I have for the ten strips of raffle tickets (charity unknown, but I can safely assume it was for a good cause) and the small cut above my eyebrow that were in my possession when I awoke the next morning. I do recall that the occupants of the Witches’ Table that afternoon came up with an excellent outline for a panto we intended to stage at the village hall in winter: a mash-up of “Sin”-derella and Priscilla Queen of the Desert of the Cotswolds in which the struggle is to get Cinders to Pippa and Prince Harry’s wedding at the local inn (at which there was no room according to husband’s diligent BlackBerry notes and in an apparent misguided effort to weave in the Christmas story). I believe this falls safely into the category of it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time. More recently the Witches’ Table cast its evil influence on one half of doppelgänger couple when, after an evening of wine and a misjudged shot of absinthe, he forcibly ejected the contents of his digestive tract via his mouth into the adjacent well. Thus forth it has been known as Crispin’s well.
On Tuesday evening we decided to brave another session at the Witches’ Table with the fairer half of doppelgänger couple (Crispin was still hanging his head in shame from the well incident). We had dinner reservations in half an hour and so, we assumed, there was no time for anything to go too far off the rails. The table was already in session when we joined, populated by seven of the usual suspects. Things got off to a safe start with a vigorous debate about the proper use of semi-colons that swiftly moved into a vigorous debate over the etiquette of turning an empty wine bottle upside down in its ice bucket. (In the end we agreed it was ok, as long as it wasn’t in somebody’s house.) Things generally proceeded in this vein of polite banter, with the small exception of when our local Roger Moore lookalike stood up to pour some wine and I complimented his arrowhead belt buckle, causing the entire table to look in the general direction of his crotch. In the end we had an unintended second bottle of wine and were an hour late for our table, which on balance is an excellent outcome for an evening at the Witches’ Table.