On Friday, my wife was delighted to be told that I was taking her out to dinner that evening. She was slightly less delighted to be told it was to the pub.
The Red Lion in Barnes were hosting The Great British Dinner and Auction in support of the local hospital.
Although you would not call the Red Lion a "gastropub", as it still retains all the qualities of a pub, the food here is always of excellent, consistent quality.
We were promised a great British dinner and we were not disappointed. Cornish crab cakes to start, followed by steak and kidney pudding - a portion to destroy even the biggest appetite and spotted dick to finish. ("I love it when you say spotted dick" said the Canadian waitress). A price of £22 was excellent value.
The meal was followed by a charity auction and I was glad not to be tempted by a photo of David Beckham, a Spurs signed pennant or a fulham shirt.
Washed down with pints of London Porter and ESB, this was a brilliant evening. I think even Mrs W enjoyed it.
The Red Lion is still a great pub. The people of Barnes are traditionally hard to please but Angus and Clare, the hosts, are working tirelessly to accommodate all sorts of customer.
The Fullers beers are always excellent and I spotted on this visit that they have started to stock Boon Kriek and Frambose - a great choice for speciality beers.
Their next event is a Thanksgiving dinner next week. The first turkey of the year followed by pumpkin pie.