Sandwiches with no bloody crusts and pensioners stinking of piss: The gammon food critic goes for high tea

Restaurant reviews by Justin Tanner, our retired food critic who won’t be around long enough for ‘global boiling’ to be his fucking problem.

I’M taking my mother out for the afternoon. Avoid her like the plague as a rule, all she does is gibber on about which of her friends have died recently. But she’s 87 and not in great health, so I need to keep in her good books. Don’t want her signing over my inheritance to some bloody cat sanctuary.

Anyway, she wants to go for ‘high tea’, whatever that’s supposed to mean. The only ‘high tea’ I’ve ever had was when one of my teenage mates made us a hash brew. I spent the next two hours throwing up, so at least it can’t be as bad as that. Plus, it’s meant to be a ‘great British tradition’, and I’m up for anything remotely patriotic.

We get there and everyone looks at least 90 and ready to drop. There’s an all-pervading stink of granny gas, perfume and stale urine. It’s like sitting in the waiting room for the morgue.

The first disappointment of the high tea is it’s exactly that – just cups of tea to drink, no proper booze on show, apart from gassy foreign Prosecco at nine quid a fucking glass. Sod that for a game of soldiers. My mouth’s dry as a badger’s arse, so I might as well get a brew in. It’s all poncey loose leaf rubbish too, not proper tea in bags from Yorkshire.

They’re all called different things as well, like they’ll taste any different. Darjeeling, Earl Grey, even those weird herbal ones, which look like they’ve stuck a couple of twigs from the garden in a teapot and chucked boiling water over them.

But the biggest bag of bollocks is the sandwiches. There’s only one proper sarnie in the world. Thick white bread, crispy bacon and red sauce. If this shite passes for sandwiches, I’m a bloody transsexual. They’ve cut the crusts off for a start. And the bread is sliced thinner than a fag paper. Tight bastards at these prices.

The fillings are no better. Coronation chicken? A cold curry sandwich, what the buggery is that about? And cucumber, which is basically suspended water in bread. The salmon sounds promising, until I realise it’s the slimy smoked shit, not John West out of a tin with loads of vinegar on. And no cheese and Branston either. Ham it is for me then.

Then there’s cake – so we’re eating fish, meat and cake all in one meal, are we? It’s probably a blessing everyone else here is too doolally to realise. I try some Victoria sponge and it’s passable. I’d have tried the lemon drizzle, but nowadays that just sounds like me going for a piss what with my bloody prostate. Puts me right off.

I’ve stuck it for an hour-and-a-half and that’s my limit, so I tell mother she’s looking tired and needs to get back home for a nap. She protests she’s fine, but I’m the one with the car keys, and she’s hardly going to walk three miles back, so she reluctantly agrees. I’m stood over her holding her coat by now anyway. Always the dutiful son.

Overall impression? Not an experience I’d care to repeat. When I’m in my dotage, I’ll insist on my kids sitting me in the corner of a nice warm pub with a pint of best and a copy of the Daily Mail.

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Unexpected household objects that can double as sex toys, with the Mash sex columnist

SAVE yourself the expense and embarrassment of buying bona fide sex toys and use these deeply unsexy household items instead, which isn’t embarrassing at all. You’ll never look at your egg timer the same way again!

Pack of dry spaghetti

Who needs a professional flogging paddle when you can thwack your boyfriend’s arse with a pack of Napolina? If that fails to get you both off, cook it and eat if from opposite ends like in Lady and the Tramp for a more romantic experience. Maybe give it a quick ‘sniff test’ first.

Egg timer

Surely the original idea for the modern-day Love Egg came from an unfulfilled 50s housewife getting frisky with an egg-timer? The shape is ideal and you can choose exactly how many minutes and seconds you want of foreplay before the full-scale ring-a-ding vibration happens. The only issue may be getting it out again afterwards, but what are A&E departments for?

Bottle brush

Specially designed to fit into unwelcoming holes, the overpriced bottle brush you bought with your stainless steel water bottle could make an ideal sex companion. You never actually get round to washing your bottle so you may as well use it for something. Perhaps give it a quick bleach before you pop it back by the sink.

Electric razor

Don’t say you’ve never been shaving and thought, how about I wedge this sharp object down my pants and go to town on my fruity bits? Top tip: remove the blade first. If you can’t do that, use your boyfriend’s all-purpose trimmer with a nice big beard attachment to keep that buzzing blade safely away from your most sensitive bits. Don’t bother with washing it for him afterwards. It’s sexy, or something.

Dyson Gen5 Outsize cordless vacuum cleaner

With an RRP higher than most people’s monthly mortgage payments, this vacuum cleaner damn well ought to be able to suck you off. Those stories about perverts losing penises and getting their innards getting sucked out through their bumhole are just urban myths, right? Although try it on your partner first.


Why waste your time mourning the end of your last sexual relationship when you could be sparking up a new one with your sofa? Dependable, immobile and distinctly less prone to pressuring you into anal sex, your sofa is the ideal partner. So straddle that armrest and grind away. Actually falling in love with your sofa is a bit strange, some would say ‘abnormal’, but fuck it, he’s a great listener.