The day starts early for my parents as they drive my brother to Heathrow airport for a holiday. In order to make the most of the trip, my parents stay on the M4 on the return journey for a slight detour to Reading. As soon as they arrive I waste no time in fixing them up with a visitor parking permit - a ticket was issued on their only other visit a few years previously.
Once settled, we have a chat over a coffee in the kitchen. As time goes by our attention turns to lunch, remembering a pub we visited ten years ago in Sonning, or a pub the other side of the river that I tried to take Bobet the previous summer - the closer destination is chosen.
We jump in to my parent’s car, which allows me to drink. I give directions from the back seat through Reading, across Caversham Bridge to a pub called the Griffin, whose rear garden and car park backs on to the river Thames with swans sat on the river bank.
We pick our table realising we'd just missed the lunch rush as a large family began to leave on the next table. Dad and I go to the bar for drinks before we settle and browse the menu. With memories of our meal at the pub in Sonning, we all order the slow cooked leg of lamb with seasonal vegetables, which fall off the bone and melt in the mouth. Following a short rest we look to the desert menu and all choose the blackberry and apple crumble. To round off the meal and extend the experience I ask for a Costa coffee.
After the meal, mum and dad drop me off home before driving back to Dorset.