Her new offering/book/pop-up concept is called “Around the World in 80 Mouthfuls”, and it did exactly what it said on the tin, many of them. Who am I kidding? This is Anne, not a tin in sight. The occasional bottle of something home-made and organic and, whisper it quietly, a few bits and bobs of stuff from upmarket supermarket chains. Oh and some ready-made Mojitos that tasted almost exactly like Aquafresh but let's move on from that particular dance disaster to the heart of the evening.
We started at 6pm in Britain with Doris Grant bread and Guinness and smoked salmon and Welsh something or other, before smorgasbording across Scandinavia. (It has to be admitted that some countries were amalgamated and annexed, reduced to stereotypes and puns, patronised and overlooked – this we feel is much in tune with not just the original Phileas Fogg adventure but with the zeitgeist. Or, as UKIP would no doubt put it, fuck 'em if they can't tell their blinis from their pikelets).
Then it was onto the rest of Europe for cold meats and beer and, of course, as is traditional, a Toblerone. Meze stretched to cover most of the Middle East which came as a welcome relief to the vegetarian who had spent the journey across Europe sucking on a stick of white asparagus. He was also in prime position for the Indian sub-continent's plate of curries.
We all wanted more of his salt and pepper tofu, the highlight of the Far East, before diving down to the other side of the world. We even managed Antarctica – if a Penguin counts – and it most certainly does. It was 10pm by now and the rigours of the journey were telling. No seasickness or tactical chunders, for we are hardy folk, but it was clear a few people were loosening their trousers and bowels. Landfall at Hawaii perked us up though and we fell on a packet of Hula Hoops as though it was lost treasure.
America? Nope, it's lost to me, I'm sure there's a post-modern metaphor for greed and over-consumption and fallen empires there somewhere but I was too busy burping and reaching for the bisodol. Ah, but look, over yonder horizon heaves the humble home-made Arctic Roll. So to Port, and cheese. And home to Shropshire, where we all began 6 hours and several stone earlier. Three mouthfuls short.
“What's this?” I ask
“I call it 'to infinity and beyond.'”
And so it was, small pieces of the cosmos on a plate. There was Mars, and the Milky Way and, of course, the Galaxy.