Fantastic views of the gorgeous bay at Bembridge will be the best TV I see tonight, seeing the faint mist rising amongst the boats made me ache to be there. The Pilot Boat Inn did well to showcase both the area and the business itself and has left me incredibly jealous of people that get to wake up and work with such a fantastic view. The show also reminded me that on the last few visits I have not had the opportunity to explore my home to be properly and give it the time it deserves, a situation I must remedy.
Last night’s meal with my colleague at the hotel demonstrated again that there is a massive difference between living in a hotel and staying in one. Dave and myself selected the salmon dish for dinner only to be told that not only had it ran out but, despite being written on six menu boards, they only started with one portion! A recount led us both to sausage,egg and chips, this being a dish that we have both eaten before since its arrival on the menu in January. Having ordered we hit upon that most common of restaurant concerns, a long wait during which time several other meals came out but not enough to justify the delay.
When the food arrived it comprised around 8 chips, a single egg over cooked for one and under for the other and an anaemic sausage wheel. We both observed that the meal was not as advertised (two eggs) or well cooked or actually very pleasant but what we did showed who we were and that was nothing. When you live in a hotel for longer than most of the staff have worked there you realise that complaining is not the way forward, in part because you see what this can achieve and also in part because you are reliant upon these people. To complain that chef had messed up dinner would be as sensible as a married man complaining that his wife couldn’t cook, its certainly a guarantee of weight loss, so we said nothing.
Do you think that I am wrong, that I am simply too polite or intimidated to complain? Well I would suggest that I am correct and that it is you that misunderstands the world around us, allow me to give further evidence. Having retired to the bar we were treated to one of those stalwarts of hotel living, a pair of older women on a leisure trip. One woman was clearly not coping with the wine and was sat with her feet tucked underneath her, an international sign for ‘wobbly’ whilst her very oversize colleague checked the bar snacks menu. Having surveyed the menu the large woman declared loudly ‘oh no I think I will skip dinner’ to which the barmaid told her colleague that he would be busy on room service later ‘again’. Some time later this couple got into a debate with the bar manager regarding a badly cooked steak they had been served earlier in the week, in fairness the manager entertained the conversation with appropriate concern. When you then hear the bar staff commenting that said complainant ‘didn’t pause for breath so how would she know if it was cooked or not’ you realise that the treatment she will receive will border on contempt for the duration of her stay.
Now the thing with hotels is that shifts are always changing and the angry barmaid or unhappy chef speaks to the porter who talks to reception and from there housekeeping, how much care does your room then get? Now I sterilise all cups and glasses that I use in hotels after talking to a maid who explained that if she didn’t like someone she would wipe the glasses out with the cloth she cleaned the toilet out with. The revenge trick had an affect on me especially when I debated it with the maid who hadn’t quite thought through the lingering effect after room changes.
Of course you could chose to eat out, like the man that we observed last night returning to his room laden down with supermarket bags, but if you do don’t push it. Our man last night took too much advantage of the kitchen when he brought them his dinner to microwave, I know that hotels ‘like to go the extra mile’ but really? How much respect do you think they will have for your dinner when they heat it in the microwave rather than cooking it? See, you can’t beat the hotel machine so don’t try.