Adventures in outdoor dining

Sir, – Al fresco dining never felt more like an adventure sport than last Saturday afternoon. It began with a few eyebrows raised at the intensity of the falling rain, graduating to concerned glances at the canopy shaking and rattling under the force of the downpour. Drops landed on diners’ shoulders, spattered the tablecloths, plopped into wine glasses. The volume of conversation increased to drown out the noise of the monsoon-style torrent.

Then a drain erupted like an Icelandic geyser. Water spurted skywards before pouring down the walls. The unfortunate gentleman directly below the unexpected shower stood up and laughed, shrugging it off.

Then the canopy gave way. Water cascaded à la Niagara Falls, gushing and splashing six well-heeled ladies. They leapt in their Louboutins towards the dry centre, seeking shelter from the storm, huddling together, beside other diners, the two-metre rule long forgotten. This was no longer about social distance but about survival of the best dressed.

Pandemonium ensued. Children cried, grandmothers gathered their walking aids to speed up their escape, others clutched their wine glasses in mid-flight, as if they were life rafts.


Diners abandoned main courses mid-bite, flung napkins across the backs of chairs as they evacuated the outdoor space to seek refuge in the very place we are advised to avoid – indoors. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.