The ever-immaculate David Attenborough once treated me, and several million other couch naturalists, to a fascinating piece of television.
It seems there is an amazing plant that lives in some fly-blown godforsaken swamp in, I think the southern states of the USA.
Where exactly is not important – fly-blown is.
Because this specimen is the publican of the plant world – it welcomes insects in and then gets them drunk.
Now before all you landlords phone in, I know you are all far more responsible than that, but just bear with me.
This particular plant has developed a bulbous appendage which it fills with fermenting sap. The equivalent of an invertebrate wine bar.
The heady aroma is, apparently irresistible to insects, the fly equivalent of a pub sign, and they crawl in through a tiny opening in the top.
So in they go, for a quick snifter and, who knows, maybe some pork scratchings and a game of pool.
But apparently the insect world is just as prone as Britain to binge drinking, and in no time the plant is full of mosquitoes, blowflies, weevils and other assorted bugs, all off their faces.
It must be a bit like a shrunken-down version of that bar in Star Wars.
Then, just as the party looks like winding up, a strange thing happens – the plant decides to keep them there and give them a bed for the night.
The insects discover the sides of the ‘bar’ are slippy and covered with downward pointing hairs – in their drunken condition there is no way they can make it out.
So they are forced to stay there until, hungover and dusted with pollen, they are allowed out the next day where, probably due to aloholic blackout, they have forgotten what has just happened and promptly go through the whole rigmarole again, this time fertilising a neighbouring plant in the process.
All clever stuff, and the programme was brought home to me, albeit on a human scale, when I visited Hawarden.
The Fox and Grapes sits snugly alongside the Bluebell, and the pubs share a common car park entrance.
It is tiny, doglegged, and, ominously, it bears the scars of a dozen close encounters with automotive paintwork.
Not really a problem on the way in - but coming out? Surely not even the most determined drink-drive idiot would risk that after a session.
The car park was full, however, and that gave the merest hint of what lay in wait for us.
The bar was P-A-C-K-E-D, packed! And this was only 7.30pm.
Luckily we had booked, obviously a good move, and some hefty elbow work installed us at the bar where our names were taken and we were directed to our table.
This was more like it. A peaceful oasis at the front of the pub, far (well a few yards away) from those madding – and slightly maddening – crowds.
The dining room is a complete contrast – more like a living room really, with a homely patterned carpet and pictures of old Hawarden decorating the walls.
A pint of excellent Deuchars (£2.55) and an, according to Beverley, equally excellent large glass of Jack Rabbit Chardonnay (£3.75), already welcoming us, we studied the menu.
And an interesting menu it is. The Fox and Grapes can obviously be what you want to make it.
If you fancy a sandwich for about a fiver, fine – they do everything from light bites to full blown restaurant-type three-course meals.
Guess what we went for?
Starters were easy. My spiced salmon fishcakes with a sweet cilli dip (£4.95) were slightly seared, but none the worse for that. They were definitely spicy. They were also definitely enjoyable.
Beverley, as usual, totally overfaced herself, this time with goat’s cheese crustini on toasted granary bread with chilli and soy dressing (£4.95).
I was forced to finish it off for her. Yet again an excellent blend of tastes, and yet again satisfyingly zingy.
At this point I should add that the wine list is a real piece of work. Each entry had tasting notes giving the level of sweetness or dryness and recommending what meals it best accompanied.
The theme was going to be seafood, so we opted for Nobilo Orca Bay Sauvignon, a New Zealand white, given the optimum dry rating and recommended with sea bass, of which more later.
Starters despatched, Beverley felt the need to powder her nose.
Off she went, while I waited. And waited. And waited.
A group of young women at an adjacent table decided to rearrange the furniture, which relieved the boredom for a while.
I continued to wait.
Suddenly she reappeared, from a completely different direction – the football crowd nature of the press at the bar had totally disoriented her, but eventually she made it back, with a look of panic lingering on her face.
Beverley’s main was breaded wholetail scampi, advertised with home-made hand cut chips, tartar sauce and garden peas. (£7.50).
On ordering she had explained she did not fancy chips and asked for salad instead.
‘Why not have a jacket potato?’ the waitress suggested. Why not indeed.
The scampi turned up with chips and was promptly sent back to the kitchen.
Now we faced a dilemma. My grilled sea bass with braised rice and sweet Thai sauce (£11.50) had already arrived.
Did I wait, at the risk of the sauces starting to coagulate as it cooled, or did we eat in shifts?
I dived in.
Sweet sauce? This was seriously hot stuff. I enjoyed it, although it came perilously close to overwhelming the fish, but it might be a little too hot for some tastes.
Halfway through my meal and the scampi returned, this time with a spud.
If ever a pub meal has deservedly earned a bad name, it is scampi. But not these little beauties – they were excellent.
After all the fuss over the potato, Beverley was distinctly underwhelmed by it but my sampler proved enjoyable.
So to desserts. My vanilla cheesecake with mascerated raspberries (£3.95) was OK, but only OK – Beverley’s cheeseboard (£4.50) was excellent, despite an initial upturn of the nose when she suspected it had come directly from the fridge.
It seems the cheese was slightly cool on the outside rather than chilled through – perhaps it had been left in a draught for a while.
But what really exercised her imagination were the grapes, huge, plump, pale green monsters that burst on the mouth and blended brilliantly with the cheese – more Douro Valley in September than North Wales in February.
A word of warning – orders and payment are at that scrum of a bar, there is no real waiter service and payment, particularly, can be uncomfortable.
Having said that, the Fox and Grapes is not a restaurant, it is a pub that serves food – and a very popular and community-minded pub by the look of it.
So being in a pub I treated myself to an extra pint.
Of course that meant I had to pick the car up the next morning and, guess what – the car park was still packed.
Like bugs in a honeypot!
The Fox and Grapes, 6, The Highway, Hawarden, CH5 3DH (tel 01244 532565).
Total cost £60.15 for three courses, wine and two rounds of bar drinks.
Best thing: Good food at reasonable prices. Good variety to suit different needs.
Worst thing: Having to pay and order at a crowded bar.
Would suit: Couples or small parties.
Wouldn’t suit: Diners hoping to enjoy a tranquil evening with full waiter service.