I’ve decided that, when I’m away, I’m not going to stay in Eurobox hotels like Ibis or Premier Inns anymore.
No, I’m going to stay in local hotels, full of character and interesting architecture.
So, this week I find myself in a local hotel, near Kidderminster, not because it’s any good (‘cos it isn’t) but for the crack.
And, I have to say, so far I haven’t been disappointed. My stay has been so bad it’s been hilarious and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Let’s start with my room, which was last decorated in circa 1978. To start with it’s beige, with a beige carpet and bed spread. Yes, I have a bed spread with a blanket (thin and biscuit like; both in colour and texture) and a sort of white sheet. In the bathroom, formica abounds and the furniture is somewhat off-white.
Okay, so what about the staff?
Well, the comedy started this morning at breakfast. A polish guy came into the restaurant for breakfast. The waitress, in a broad brummie accent, asked him: ‘A table for one, sir?’
‘No,’ came the reply, in accented but perfectly understandable English. ‘There are four of us.’
For some reason the sound of the accent seemed to make the waitress want to shout and talk very slowly, bent forward slight from the waist. ‘A TABLE FOR FOUR? OKAY, HOW ABOUT HERE?’
The Polish gentleman looked slightly scared. ‘Yes, this is fine. But why are you shouting?’
It carried on in the evening. I decided to eat in the bar, but after I’d sat myself down a waiter in full evening suit (badly stained, it has to be said) asked me in a strong French accent: ‘Excuse me, sir. Weel you be eeting in ze restaurant zis evening?’
I was tempted to shout back: ‘EATING? NO THANK YOU’ just to make sure he understood. I didn’t but I still declined, though. I’m pretty sure he went back to the kitchen to declare in a brummie accent ‘No, I couldn’t get ‘im to come in to the restaurant tenoit.’
Finally… and this was by far the best bit for me… I knew it was raining outside without having to set foot outside the hotel. That’s because I had to dodge the series of buckets that had been thoughtfully set out to catch the rainwater dripping through the leaking roof.
You just couldn’t make this stuff up.
I might just try Novotel next month, though.