For today’s interview, we’re returning to Ascar, to interview the proprietress of the famed Granville Tavern: Virginia Granville. For decades, the tavern has been serving delicious food and drink to Ascar’s lucky residents. It’s not the only tavern in the city, of course, but nearly every local I have asked in the street has suggested it as a place to get a good meal.
Unlike most other taverns which play their trade in the entertainment quarter, the Granville Tavern remains at its original location, within the residential area. Here you’ll find labourers rubbing shoulders with librarians and even the occasional noble or Council member. The tavern is also popular with guards and captains. You might think with such a diverse clientele there would be the occasional awkwardness or scuffle, but the dining area is remarkably relaxed.
IC: Virginia, thank you very much for agreeing to talk to me.
VG: A pleasure, lad. Can I offer you a glass of wine?
IC: Oh, that’s very kind of you. Yes please.
VG (pouring a glass): Here you are. A two year vintage from our eastern vinyards.
IC (sipping): Hmm, fruity with a hint of spring. Very nice. No wonder your tavern is so popular.
VG: Not a bad year, if I say so myself. Though I’d put it to you that our patrons come here for the food and not just the drink. Maybe I could interest you in—
IC (holding up a hand): Maybe later, but we really do have an interview to conduct here. We don’t want to tease our readers too much by eating and drinking in front of them.
VG: True enough. What would you like to know?
IC: How long have you been running this tavern?
VG: Let’s see… Malcolm—my husband—and I bought this tavern just after we got married, a whole thirty-one years ago. We’ve been running it together ever since, although Malcolm spent six months managing it with his brother Reynard after I had Artur. Poor Artur was a sickly baby, and it was touch and go whether we’d lose him. Thank the Settlers, he’s grown into a man any mother would be proud of.
IC: Yes, I’ve heard good things about Artur. But he didn’t follow you into the tavern business, did he?
VG (pointing): That’s his portrait on the wall, that we commissioned a couple of years ago when he graduated from engineering school. No, he’s making his own way in the world. I was a bit disappointed when he went off to be an engineer, but he’s doing useful things in the blimp workshop. At least, that’s what he says—I don’t understand what he gets up to.
IC: No, I believe blimp technology is at an early stage, so he’ll have plenty to find out.
VG: Maybe so, but it’s not exactly glamorous. Every night he comes home mucky and covered in oil stains. I hope he doesn’t spend his entire career like that. And hidden away as he is in that workshop, I can’t imagine him coming to the attention of a rich sponsor.
IC: What does his father think about all this?
VG: Malcolm’s just out the back, if you’d like to—
IC: That won’t be necessary. We’re really looking for one on—
MG (from outside): Yes, dear?
VG: Come in here and meet the young man who’s going to tell a lot of people about us.
MG (entering and sitting): Yes, dear.
IC (sighing): Nice to meet you, Malcolm. Your wife has been telling me about Artur’s accomplishments.
MG: I’m proud of our lad. Never thought he’d end up an engineer though. He was so fond of his books I thought he’d go work with the historians. But he got fascinated by techne and suchlike, and nothing would do but he go join up as an engineer. Good steady job I guess, but you wouldn’t catch me going up in one of them balloon things. And I hope they don’t become unpopular else he’ll be out of a job. Can’t beat the tavern business. People always gonna want food and drink, aren’t they?
IC: That’s true enough.
MG: Now, can we offer you some…
(At this stage no further recording was made of the interview).