CUMBRIA, Keswick Have you ever read one of those curry guides? Bollocks aren't they? "Ooh!, look at that nice wall paper". & "What a nice carpet". Bollocks! Why don't any of them tell you what you really want to know. I used to get 'The Good Curry Guide'. It is aimed at posh people who never get drunk and take the kids everywhere with them. One glass of wine and it's "Oh, Julian, I getting squiffy!" Bastards. Last week I took our lass to a curry house in Keswick in Cumbria. This one was more like it. There are two curry houses in Keswick. 'The Red fort' & The 'Maharaja'. The Red Fort is where Julian and all the tourists go. You can tell as soon as you walk in the fucking place! If you have had more than one shandy you feel like a fucking leper. Food is good but service was shite. Typical tourist place. Cram em in get their money and get em out ASAP. Anyway, back to the other one. The Maharaja is done on the cheap. It is tatty to say the least. There is evidence to suggest that the carpet was once pink and the last time that they decorated, they only did the top half. The bit bellow the Dado rail has got bits missing, chips in the paint. You get the picture don't you. It's a bit like our house! The waiters looked like they had been dragged through a hedge backwards (whilst the hedge was simultaneously dragged backwards through a combined harvester). The place was 'Chocker'! It was full of locals so I was looking forward to my grub. Well worth waiting for it was too! I had this thing called 'Chicken Pepsila', described as "Medium with lot's of green peppers" ?????? Not much of a description from the menu is it? Bloody lovely it was! A very rich dark sauce with (yes you guessed it) loads of Green Pepper. It was a bit mild but delicious none the less. Our Lass had a Chicken Tikka Bhuna Massala. Excellent also. Very good potions, Service was OK and you wouldn't feel out of place if you were pissed. The menu was a laugh due to the fact that it looks like they got one made up at the printers and Xeroxed the rest of em, printed two on one sheet and cut it down the middle with scissors. As I say, everything is done on the cheap. This is not reflected in the prices though. The Maharaja isn't any more expensive than any other Curry House but it's no cheaper either! Why is Lager so bloody expensive in a curry house? CUMBRIA, Whitehaven, Ali Taj Went to the Ali Taj in Whitehaven again the other night. FUCKING BRILLIANT! If ever I wanted to open a curry house, you know the sort of place that was really popular. When you were sat having your meal you got free lager and a nubile waitress kneeling under the table giving you a gobble (come on, we've all thought of it!). Well, I would get the Chef at Ali's to do the food. We had a Chicken Tikka Dansak and a Chicken Tikka Kalia (you can tell I like tikka). Great portions and reasonable prices. The Naan is nice and full of Garlic. To be honest, I like those Naan breads you southerners eat. You know the ones, Balti thing. Big as a medium sized pool table. I like them. The Ali Taj is one of the best curry houses I have been to and guess what? It's only two hundred yards from my house!!!!!! YIPEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Only one complaint. They do not open late. Not their fault. They have this fucking daft by law round our place. If you want a take away, they can stay open until 01.00. A restaurant has to close at 12.00. Mid week, Ali's closes at 11:30. So. here's me. Pissed up & having to leave the pub before they throw me out so that I can get a curry!!!!!!!!! The only answer tonight (Friday) is to go out early and get a take away, go back home (not far), go on the piss and then go home around 1:30 am and stick it in the oven. It's just not the same is it! So, if you are ever up't north and visit Whitehaven (by the way, I am on about propper north here, Not that area that likes to think of itself as north i.e. Manchester or Liverpool), Give the Ali Taj a try. You will not regret it!