Soup at The Crown. A rich leek and potato with good bread. G and I fill the silence with hungry tearing and dipping – no audible slurps. Unusual for us to be silent, words are the work we share. I focus on the food and on the laughter of a gaggle of girls out of sight, ¬†assuming it is a hen night, then realising that’s unlikely mid-week and wondering why I think laughter suggests a special event.

Geoff at the crown

The Silence Experiment
Silent: Me and Geoff K from The Challenge Factor
Site: The Crown, Tiddington, Stratford Upon Avon
State: Eating
Surprises: Having to gesture at the bar man checking everything was ok


This is a proper greasy spoon. You can tell by the mugs on the counter, the vat of hot chocolate powder and the quality of the sausages. This is noisy silence. At least three other tables of customers and irritating women with facile opinions prattling on the TV. ¬†We manage to chew quietly, but I can’t help choking on cheap HP sauce, and D is caught out by the universal ‘I needed that cup of tea’ sigh.

sausage egg and chips

The Silence Experiment:
Silent: Me and Dan
Site: Cafe on the A38, Birmingham
State: Eating lunch
Surprises: 7 minutes doesn’t even consume half our plates. There are a lot of chips – or maybe silence slows eating?