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Back to Fawlty Towers

I spent three days last week at our Hampshire HQ, having a series of all-day meetings with my customers, so that meant staying for two nights down there. There is a dearth of good quality accommodation in the area, particularly at a price that the corporate hotel booking system deems acceptable, so I stayed again at the same place as usual. It may be (more than) a bit idiosyncratic, but at least I know what I’m letting myself in for.

They seemed to have smartened up their act a bit since last time I was there. After the huge fuss I made in January about the lack of Earl Grey teabags over breakfast (which culminated in a colleague nipping out one lunchtime to buy me a box just to shut me up, which I then placed prominently on the breakfast table) I was pleased to see that they had a supply in stock this time. I must have made a bit of an impression as the waiting staff recognised me, welcomed me back, and informed me that they’d changed the menu since I last ate there. Not significantly though; I still found it unimaginative and limited. But to be fair, I should report that I did have one rather good meal there – grilled chicken breast, dauphinoise potatoes and green beans, followed by chocolate mousse with pistachios, all of which was very tasty and enjoyable. But they didn’t even get that right – I ordered it, and just a few minutes later a waiter brought me the chocolate mousse! I waved it away and said that I wanted to be conventional and have the main course first…..

It did rather annoy me though that all the waiters had a verbal tic and told me to “Enjoy”. Fair enough I suppose for the main course, but it’s completely unnecessary and unwarranted when they are merely refilling my glass of tap water! If it was a double brandy that would be a different matter, but I’d never get that through the expenses system!