The drinks were many and varied as we closed the circle of the latest cycle of Covid mayhem.
When this year’s first lockdown was lifted on July 4, the first restaurant that my family and I visited was the convivial and delightful Laghi’s Deli in Edgbaston.
So it seemed appropriate that Laghi’s should be the last place we’d visit on the eve of the imposition of a new lockdown, which that bumbling U-turning turd Boris Johnson has insisted will last a mere four weeks so will obviously last much longer.
How joyful we were in July when we finally has a reason to shower, put on smart clothes and mix, socially distanced of course, with other people.
Our attitude was a little less sunny as we approached our latest visit – subdued by the uncertainty that lies ahead and aware that lockdown in damp, grey autumn won’t be quite as much as a lark as it was when the sun was shining and hours could be filled bollocking back G&Ts in the garden.
But Laghi’s Deli is the kind of place in which you’d need to be have miserable spirits of a Daily Mail reader not to relax and smile.
The staff are wonderfully welcoming and committed. The vibe is chilled. The food is always of the highest quality.
In short, the place is joyful – celebrating the core values of Italian food and hospitality.
It has to be said that those many and various drinks helped to lift our spirits, too.
Beers. White wine. Two sorts of red wine. Limoncello. And, to round the night off, a round of grappa very kindly sent to our table by Birmingham Live’s eater-in-chief Sanjeeta Bains and her partner, who happened to be sitting nearby.
There was a pleasant buzz about the place – the sort of determination to have a good time that we Britons probably showed as Vera Lynn belted out We’ll Meet Again.
But, then, I don’t think I’ve ever visited Laghi’s when customers haven’t been happy to be there.
The food was a wonderful as ever.
Beautifully creamy burrata with carpaccio of butternut squash.
A stunning dish of lemon and ricotta mousse with beetroot.
Perfectly cooked octopus and scallop with a blood orange sauce.
A deeply savoury dish of guanciale with wild mushrooms and the silkiest spaghetti.
And, of course, Laghi’s ragu, which is always magnificent.
We left replete and not a little woozy as the imposition of the new lockdown edged closer.
This morning, writing this, I feel sad that at least another month will pass before I can revisit Laghi’s and the other fantastic independent Birmingham restaurants that I enjoy so much.
Please support those who are offering takeaways and deliveries.
They need all the love they can get as they cope with a crisis made worse by bumbling Johnson and his band of incompetents.