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Fawlty Towers – March 2019

‘The proprietors told me they had a prize-winning chef but I fear that his prizes were not for cooking. The lukewarm duck breast with indeterminate brown gravy was tough, and the cheese plate (unnamed cheeses) looked like a pub ploughman’s and was freezing cold.The waitress, who was extremely young, smiled and was pleasant but simply… Read more

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Praise and Brickbats

By Adam Raphael The Guide gets its fair share of praise and brickbats. Please see ABOUT US page for herograms. We don’t list complaints; perhaps just as well. But recently, I received a query from a reader who was puzzled by the Guide’s GIFT VOUCHER scheme. ‘Giving a free copy of the Guide is no… Read more

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Muzak–Ugh!

By Adam Raphael The Guide has been banging on for years about Muzak. To little or no effect. Hoteliers insist that music helps a quiet dining room. But few things are more intrusive. Younger guests barely notice what is being played. But oldies find poorly amplified, so-called easy listening rubbish hard to take. ‘Most annoying… Read more

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Crisis what crisis?

  By Adam Raphael Happy New Year! I believe it will be. But as Yogi Berra sagely pointed out: ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’ Anyone who claims they know what will happen in the coming months is a fool or a charlatan. No one can be sure where Brexit is going…. Read more

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Brexit Secrets and Lies

By Adam Raphael No government has ever set out before to make its voters poorer which makes the political mess we are in all the more bizarre. Whatever the outcome of this week’s Brexit parliamentary debates, the stakes for the hospitality industry could not be higher. UK Hospitality, which represents three million jobs and £130… Read more

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Hotel Secrets

By Adam Raphael The borderline between triumph and disaster in the hospitality business is narrow. Every year the Guide receives thousands of letters, emails and phone calls from readers telling us about their stays in hotels, inns and B&Bs. Most are enthusiastic. Some critical though balanced. A minority so dire that they qualify for Fawlty… Read more

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Bulls, Bears & Brexit

By Adam Raphael The 2019 edition of the Guide, to be published on Monday, has a record number of 860 entries, ranging from great-value B&Bs to luxurious country house hotels. The Daily Mail will publish exclusively this Saturday the ten winners of the Guide’s 2019 César awards. They include a castle on the Wild Atlantic… Read more

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Cancellation Woes

By Adam Raphael Nothing causes more grief than cancellation fees. Tales of lost deposits and charges for meals never eaten, even when cancellations are made weeks in advance, are frequent. Last week, a particularly angry whinge thudded onto my desk. ‘Have you come across this level of venality before? I think it smacks of gross… Read more

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Booking Woes

By Adam Raphael The conclusion in last month’s newsletter, that Booking.com and other online travel agencies have succeeded in sucking billions of pounds out of the hospitality industry because they meet a need, was too kind. If hotels and B&Bs dealt with reservation requests more efficiently, they would not be gouged to the extent they… Read more

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