LAURA CARTLEDGE When it comes to eating out, value is in the eye of the bill-holder...

Laura Cartledge.
Laura Cartledge.

I’M spoilt. Not in the way all parents fear, I hope, I appreciate what I have.

It’s just my day job seems to be messing with my view of the world.

As a feature writer for etc Magazine, I have to explore, interview and write about the best Sussex and Hampshire has to offer. I know, it is a real hardship.

From fabulous food reviews to pieces on multi-million pound properties – if it is interesting and local, I am in. But it is having an impact.

Do you know what I rustled up as a dinner for one the other night? A pear, Stilton and honey walnut salad with a side portion of cheesy pasta bake to prove I haven’t gone too far from my roots.

I don’t think that is normal, but it was tasty.

Then, out with a friend the other night, I did the most diva-like thing I have ever done.

My diva-bar isn’t very high. In fact, as my partner has discovered, in return for sitting through a World Cup qualifier, my only demand is a little visit to Hobbycraft.

Anyway, back to the other night.

We walked out of a restaurant. Not in a run-away-from-the-outrageous-bill-way that you may have seen in the movies. We had eaten there many times before, but the new menu was over-priced and under-whelming. If I am paying, I want something I wouldn’t make myself at home.

First of all, none of the main dishes were vegetarian – not even a solitary stuffed pepper in sight. Instead my choices were between a £10 plate of pasta or risotto. There may be a time and a place for this, but we were in a pub attached to a budget hotel, which makes the empty dining room speak volumes. It felt rebellious but right as we left our menus on the tables.

Often sticking to your guns, and values, is the sweetest taste of all.