Fawlty Towers – August 2017

‘On the face of it, this hotel has much going for it. It is a large, very grand Victorian house set in grounds and gardens which are spectacularly beautiful. Our room was spotlessly clean, well equipped and comfortable, albeit 52 steps up on the second floor with no lift. But dinner was a disaster. I have never seen so many staff in any hotel, but they appeared and disappeared like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. We had to ask three times for drinks before the meal. The meal itself took over two hours, and the food was, to be kind, indifferent. It started with an amuse bouche of what appeared to be custard, and went downhill from there. The head waiter asked us at the end if we had enjoyed our meal.’

‘The bed was very uncomfortable. Possibly as a result of the sloping floor, it had a hard ridge just where it would have been logical for me to position myself, so I was relegated to the margins of the bed, with a narrow strip of even mattress available to lie on. The duvet was far too warm for spring, and made me unbearably hot despite the room itself being cool.’

‘The hotel’s exterior gives the impression of being uncared-for, with peeling paintwork, neglected planting; empty beer drums to one side. Windows could have done with a clean (on the inside!), and the external paintwork is in much need of TLC. The terrace was strewn with unswept leaves.’