A Shaggy Bitch tail....

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 18 September 2008

Ok it's time to talk dirty.

Dirty dogs actually.

Its time to chew the fat about Dalmations.

Back in 2003, or maybe 2 or even 4, Good Food Live took the programme on a jaunt to the US of A.

We visited Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and some - as the Yanks would say.

We travelled light - a cameraman, a make-up woman, a PA and a fixer. We travelled Business Class, mostly, ate in the best restaurants, went up and down in endless elevators and stayed in the fanciest of places, the fanciest of which was THE INN in LITTLE WASHINGTON.

I've just been looking through the photos.....

In most of the pictures I had on my reddest of red lippy, my best jet-lagged grin,all of which was hidden inside my old blue dungarees.

Then I found the pics. of the room I stayed in in the Inn.

Patrick O'Connell, the proprietor, presides over the most celebrated country Inn in America. Its situated in one of the oldest villages in Virginia and it's as camp as Christmas.

My room was so grand I felt totally out of place. When I went to bed I felt totally under-dressed having packed only my body suit. The bed was up in the gallery. Climbing up the stairs for a nights kip after an eight course meal with wine was not the easiet of hikes but, like Sherpa Tensing, I followed the well worn path of the travellers before me, Luke with his bad circulation, Hud, Butch and The Salad Dresssing King. Yes, Mr. Paul Newman had stayed on the very mattress not three weeks before. I rolled around those sheets, smelled the pillows and nestled under the duvet, Dont tell Ms Woodward I thought, but what a Sting....

The bathroom boasted more bottles of lotions and potions than the Super Drug Store in Chemlsford.

Every inch of space was covered in water colours, floral curtains, chintz chairs, flounces, tassels and cushions. It was impossible to tell where the floor ended and the ceiling began. A wooden fenced balcony led off the bedroom whilst the sound system beat O2 hands down.

To be honest the space was so busy if I had lost a lens I would have been buggered.

Now the thing about The Inn, is that it is both five starred for its food and accomodation, so if the room was anything to go by you know what the food was like. Rich but tasteful, fine but filling, classy but louche. All the growable produce was grown on their land, everything was sourced organically, why even the local gun shop had accepted the two boys from the big city.

The dining room was like a set out of a French Rennaissance painting. Open fires, lush carpets, deep armchairs and fancy floal displays that looked unreal. Eight of us met for dinner. The round table was immaculately set with more cutlery than Sheffield. We were seated. We ordered. The waiters arrived and at the count of whatever our plates were put down at exactly the same time.

Every time.

For course after course, of course..

The cheese was displayed on the back of a life size wooden cow that was wheeled to the table, its big Swiss bell jangling round its big wooden neck. It was sumptuous and silly,

Each night, a thurible is swung round the kitchen and all the waiters, chefs and Patrick and his partner prepare for service.

The place has a shop next door where all their cookware, bookware, and doggy bits can be bought.

For Mr.O'Connell and his partner rescue dalmations.

On entering the Inn sprawled out to the left is a beautiful dalmation bitch with a string of pearls strung round her neck. To the right is her male companion sporting a perfectly tied bow-tie. The dogs have their own carer, they are fed, watered, pampered and cared for better than the sous chef.

The chefs wear dalmation dungarees, as do many of the staff.

I am 5 foot one and three quarter of an inch high, most of the geezers at the Inn are six foot and more. I was given two pairs of dungaress as a gift.

They are so big I can put three dogs inside with me.

Now for a long time I didn't wear the dungaress, I was told I had to keep up some kind of televisual image.

But now that I am a radio shlock jock - I wear them all the time. I roll up the legs three times, I alternate the pairs. One is slightly smaller than the other so when I'm feeling bloated I wear the bigger pair. The smaller ones are still for a 7 foot tall basket ball player, so its comfort, comfort all the way.

I love them

I am recognised for them but it doesn't cross my mind that I am. When people come up to me in Sloane Square asking for my autograph I am utterly surprised, forgetting that my dalmation dungarees make me look barking.

I tried to buy a very expensive Jaeger linen coat with a brilliant dalmation pattern, I thought it would give my dunga's a bit off class but they only had size 8. Perrrlease.....

So why do I like my dungareees well I only need wear one item of underwear, my non-existent waist does not get compromised, I look little and sweet because they are SO HUGE, they wash really easily and I have three pockets so that when I go out there's one pocket for my credit card, one pocket for my mobile and one pocket for my keys.

Wonderfully easy see..

I recently talked to a woman, on the radio, about her dog sitting service I told her about my connection with dalmations and she said I must look like Cruella De'ville, au contrair, I thought, I look like the gal in Little Washington; languid, lazy and the most relaxed bitch you'll ever meet.

I'm bringing them along to THE BROADWAY THEATRE on OCTOBER 3rd....

hopefully I'll see you there.

woof woof till then,

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At September 19, 2008 1:18 PM chrissie wrote:

Well, that was a VERY nice blog from a lady with no time:-)

You'll have lots of support on 3rd.

Chrissie x x

2. At September 19, 2008 3:43 PM Soryl Angel wrote:

Oh how I wish I could be in that audience!!!!
Bring that show to America, the land of the ?

3. At September 21, 2008 8:30 AM Hymie wrote:

Hi Jenni,

I remember your jaunt to America, it's when I got Sky and tuned in for the first time, thinking who is this crazy wonderful presenter, she can't be a British presenter becasue she has a personality and is entertaining!!! it's also when I fell in love with GFL. I especially enjoyed the Sunday Lunch specials you did. Another time on GFL you asked Ed Baines about the beef he was browning off, He said to you "all you ever need is a 'well hung' piece of meat" Your face was a picture! you said to the camera "you thought I was going to reply to that"
Hope you bring your show to Manchester in the future and good Luck on the night.

Hymie xx

4. At October 2, 2008 5:50 PM June wrote:

Hi Jeni
Just wanted to say all good luck for the show tomorrow. Remember everyone who will be there are there because they like/love you, that's why they watched GFL and now listen to you on LBC. So you will be surrounded by love, relax and enjoy.
I look forward to seeing you on the 29th.
Best wishes and love
June

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.