Friday, October 23, 2009


One hostelry was £26 more per night than the other.  You're bound to work out which, so, I wil not spoil your guesswork by telling you.

Both hostelries had open wifi  access.  One gave step by step directions how to connect, you were cautioned however, that your hardware had to be wifi compatible.

The other place, gave the connecting  number and you got on with it.  The assumption being, I expect, that if you were travelling with your electronic kit, you would know how to operate it.

Why is it that hotel rooms tend to be dreadfully over-heated? The radiator in the first one was off, but the hot system pipes threw out relentless heat.  Out front there was a noisy ring road and the rain was pelting down.  I did open the window but not all night.

Looking around the room reserved for me, I was underwhelmed by its sub-standard state of decoration and for the  full up cost.  It would be easy to detail everything that was ripped,chipped and falling apart.  The floor covering might have been described as a carpet, once upon a time.  There was a high risk of being scalded in the bathroom.   I was grateful the bed was quite comfortable and, irrespective of the heat levels, I was tired enough to get some sleep. I slept till  it sounded as if someone's feet went through the worn wobbling and echoing floorboards, both above and in the corridor outside my room. 

For breakfast you could have a 'continental' (nothing cooked) but being in Scotland, and also, it being on the menu, I selected natural smoked haddock for breakfast.  The coffee, which I was assured was good filter coffee, served in a stainless steel jug left on my  table, was made like tar and had probably been left to set like tar.

Oh delight!  The bed and breakfast hotel I had reserved, was a palace.  It was not, of course, but the comfort, apparent cleanliness and decorative levels were superior to the formal hotel I had stayed at the night before.  The only similarity was the uncomfortable temperature overnight.  The difference was  that in the early hours, I felt chilled and woke to put more covers on my bed.

Breakfast choices were different, cooked and uncooked breakfasts were there for you to take both, if you wished.  The filter coffee machine was visible and you helped yourself to a pleasant morning cuppa or three, as desired.

Surprisingly,  for both places being in Scotland, neither offered porridge for breakfast.  Now, unless you are in the porridge masterchef competition class, there's no great complicated technique to making porridge, other than not to present it in a dish looking like a lump of spikey dough.


adamantixx said...

any hostelry can be forgiven an awful lot if their food excels and it surprises me that porridge is so shunned north of the border.

ZACL said...

You sound more forgiving than I feel about the first place, especially as the full charge was made; no allowance for the state of the room. I queried this, and was told some parts of the hotel were being or had been transformed, money couldn't be given for everything!!

Sure, I enjoyed the fish. It was just as well it was on the breakfast menu as the rest was uninteresting and the cold collation was tired.

I won't repeat the experience of staying with that group again. Believe it or not, it was an international chain.

I don't quite understand the neglect of porridge. I don't know if it is general. I have had one decent bowl of it at one B & B in Stirling. I just wonder how many guests would ask for it if porridge was available.

Anonymous said...

it sounds very odd that a business that depends so much on returning clients does so little to keep them happy and although i am generally forgiving, i'd still look for alternative accomodation the next time.
am i a heathen for liking sugar on my porridge, i wonder?

ZACL said...

Sweetening Porridge is what many people do, sugar, syrup or honey is used. Some people like to make porridge with milk, adding salt to the contents of the pan.

I have seen porridge created with water, salt added in the cooking, the cooked cereal then served; at the side of the dish would be a breakfast cup with milk which each hot spoonful of porridge would be dipped into. The cold milk would cool it and coat the porridge. This is a traditional method of serving and eating porridge in some Scottish areas, not all.

Are you a heathen? with all the variations outlined above, I think I can safely leave you to judge that. :)

ZACL said...

P.S. Another milk variation is to pour milk over the porridge in the bowl, thereby cooling all of the top surface pretty quickly.