GHG Postbag – August 2020

‘I’m curious: when did “cosy” replace “standard” and “classic” as the moniker for the cheapest or most basic rooms? As an operator of UK gardens and stately homes tours since 1984, I make numerous hotel bookings for my tour groups each year. Until recently, I’ve never seen rooms described as “cosy” before—and now it seems that almost every hotel has jumped on the bandwagon.’ Paul Coopersmith

‘A few year’s ago, I had to spend a night in Southend, to be at a family funeral. It was surprisingly difficult to find accommodation, but we did. A small private hotel. The best you could say is that it was clean. We declined their set dinner in favour of a nearby Greek Cypriot. Restaurant breakfast: a printed menu, presented with a flourish by a young lad. I chose the kipper. My wife, a pessimist, said, “You’ll regret that”, and settled for cereal and toast. “What”, I replied, “with the famous Maldon smokehouse just up the coast?” Guess who was right? The kipper came, a fillet in a plastic bag. I asked the young lad what it was. “Your kipper sir.” “No, not the brown thing; the transparent thing”. “That’s the bag sir, it’s what kippers come in.” I admitted defeat and ate it, my wife rightly grinning.’ Tony Green. 

‘Twist or bust– it is also important to recognise when the market is turning against you… and rather than hold out for a dream accept reality.  The chef is roughly the same age as my wife and myself and given the decline in B&B business in the face of – AirBnB-type pricing – and Premier Inn/Travelodge availability… we are taking the obvious route and ceasing business. We hope to sell the property with a reasonable profit and get out before having to spend our pension monies to support the business.  No bitterness just acceptance that after 30 years the world has changed and the B&B no longer represents good value to many people.’ Graham Fisher