It was just the week before that I'd cycled past the new N1 Golf driving range at Greenwich and wondered what it was like inside. I found out sooner than I thought.
Inside as well as the bays of the driving range, there's a very smart restaurant and bar - the Vinothec Compass where after the golf, we tasted wines, beers and some fabulous food - and I was much better at that part of the evening.
But first, the golf.
And what a backdrop.
It's safe to say I'm not a natural golfer. But even so, it was great fun. While my longest drive in the competition was only 45 yards I did manage to whack some (that's a golfing term I just made up) much further than that. We started off hitting balls as best we could and I have to thank Charly from PODcast, Kate from Wit Wit Woo, Alice from Project: Wunderlust and Kip from Kip Hakes for tolerating and encouraging my efforts. My comment about being used to bigger balls set the tone of our evening - and in my defence I meant netballs and korfballs - they're way larger than golf balls!
Mark, one of the Golf Pros at N1 Golf spent some time with each of us helping us improve, and he really had his work cut out that night. But even for me there was a noticeable difference following his advice, and I think I hit more balls first time when I followed his advice. Some I caught lovely, but one night at a golf range does not a golfer make me!
With the golf part of the evening over our attention turned to the food and drink. As you can see from the photos Vinothec Compass is far from what you'd expect from a driving range's restaurant and bar. And nor was the food.
On the menu for our "Spanish Pilgrimage" were tapas style dishes including Basque style crab, Barley, quinoa and pomegranate salad followed by the meatiest Tuna steak I can remember eating, a most tender Longhorn Onglet, some beautiful Cornish Lamb and some very tasty Sea Bream cooked in a Bilbao style.
There were three Spanish beers too, one of those was a Spanish Ale that was both unusual and very drinkable. Moving onto the wines there was a Rioja, Galicia, Tarragona and a Zaragoza. And then when I thought it couldn't get any better then was Dark Chocolate Cake to finish. Delightful.
So my eyes have been opened. Although I clearly need more practice on the golf it really was a fun evening. In fact I'm still trying to convince MOH that we should visit and try some golf before tucking into a tasty meal. I mean, it's just down the road from us and what's the worst that can happen - it's not like I'm going to smash a window in Canary Wharf, now is it?!
* Thanks to Monarch, N1 Golf and Vinothec Compass for a fun filled evening.