SCOTTISH HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2009please credit photographer: walter neilson

From the sublime to the ridiculous

Last week Wendy and I went to London to the AA National Awards. We went by train (so we could enjoy a leisurely lunch and a bottle of wine) with our friends David and Katie from the Cross at Kingussie. David booked the accommodation and told us he had booked two separate hotels for the Monday and Tuesday evenings and that we should experience both ends of the spectrum. We duly booked into Tune hotel after a long and pleasant journey. £65 for a double room in the centre of London is great value. The room was immaculately clean with a very comfortable bed. Extras included TV, safe, hair drier, and yes towels. Still all less than £75. There was plenty of room for me to get into my kilt and black tie as Wendy got changed in the corridor. Can’t remember the last time we laughed so much!! Have to say it would be brilliant for a singleton with a small suitcase. Following night in the marble luxury of the Renaissance with a room the size of a basketball court.

The awards were great (we won hotel of the year for Scotland) and we met lots of  acquaintances’ from the industry. I had a bit of  a sulk because the award only mentioned Wendy. As we all know this is absolutely correct as she is the person who keeps us on track (known affectionately as “Attila the Honey”) but I feel that a trembling bottom lip at these occasions does get one the odd extra glass of champagne –  so with nothing to lose I went for the sympathy vote. Worked out quite well as far as I can remember!

Dinner on Tuesday at Hibiscus (fabulous) and a return picnic lunch on the East Coast line on Wednesday ensured all the symptoms of a gastric ulcer on Thursday. Bloody marvellous start to the week!

Boath Wedding Car

Bentleys at Boath

This week was a week of automobiles. For two days we hosted luncheons for Bentley and their ubergorgeous new models. Four cars worth almost a million pounds sat on the drive on Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday evening we has a group of enthusiasts from Belgium in 1950’s soft top touring sports cars all in concourse condition. Two Porches, two Jensen’s and an Austin Healey.

All of the cars were mouth-wateringly lovely (if you are a petrol head, and even if you just appreciate good looks) and all obviously attracted different sorts of people. For those of us who have to make do with less glamorous, but perhaps more practical, modes of transport, they are either something to aspire to or something to be insanely jealous of. Either way it doesn’t matter in my opinion. Whether or not you can afford one they are all quality products made with pride and passion, something that would appear to be lacking in some areas of our society.

We might be approaching our twentieth year here, and may not be as glamorous as some of the newer models, but we hope that we will be appreciated in years to come for what we consider we stand for. Simply put – a warm welcome, a comfortable bed and a good dinner.

Oh! And don’t forget a decent breakfast.!