CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Clare Mackintosh: The hotel habit

PUBLISHED: 11:56 01 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:56 01 August 2016

Is there anything better than a hotel breakfast?

Is there anything better than a hotel breakfast?

Francesco83

In the 18 months since my first book came out I’ve spent as many nights away as I have in my own bed, and each one still fills with me joy

Talk to anyone who travels regularly for business and they’ll tell you the same thing: the novelty soon wears off. ‘There’s never time to see anything,’ they complain; shuttled, as they are, between airport and hotel. It’s exhausting, it’s tedious, it’s not remotely as glamorous as it sounds.

They miss their home comforts; they miss their kids; they miss their spouse’s home cooked meals. You know what? They’re missing the point.

I admit I’m relatively new to the business traveller role - in twelve years as a police officer I rarely got further than Slough - but I can’t see the novelty wearing off any time soon. In the eighteen months since my first book came out I’ve spent almost as many nights away as I have in my own bed, and each one still fills me with joy.

So what if the hours spent on a train or plane outnumber those on stage by eight to one? That’s eight hours uninterrupted travelling time. Four hours on a train each way with a hot cup of tea and no one wanting to use the loo, sit on my lap or play Top Trumps (I’m referring to my children here; my husband is marginally less demanding). Four hours to crack on with a new draft of my current work-in-progress, without the doorbell ringing, the phone going (the Quiet Carriage provides the ideal excuse for avoiding the mother-in-law), or next door’s dogs going ballistic when I open the back door. I am more productive on a train than anywhere else, and love nothing more than the promise of an overnighter in a nice hotel.

My friend Tina is a professional jet-setter. She hates travelling so much that when she takes a week off work she spends it holed up in her flat, refusing to even drive to the shops. ‘It’s just one anonymous hotel room after another,’ she sighs, when asked about her latest raft of trips. But that, in my view, is precisely the point. Who doesn’t love a hotel room? Air-conditioning, heavy curtains, piles of pillows, and a bed so big you can starfish all night and never touch the sides. Kettle, shortbread, mini-bar… what more could you ask for? And that’s before you’ve slipped on a fluffy bathrobe and raided the toiletries for miniature shampoos and shower caps (top tip: these make excellent salad bowl covers for alfresco eating).

Go on holiday somewhere exotic and you’re duty-bound to go out and explore, but when you’re away on a work trip the pressure is off. You can legitimately spend whatever free time you have lolling on that enormous bed, watching season three of Orange is the New Black on Netflix, and ordering tax-deductible nachos.

Home-cooked meals? Who cares? If I’m not eating home-cooked food, it means I’m not cooking it, either, and that’s good enough for me. I appreciate a good meal, but if I were judging Masterchef I’d dish up fewer points for taste and presentation, and far more for the semi-finalist who writes a shopping list, battles their way round Aldi with three children, unpacks the bags, realises they’ve forgotten milk, goes out again, comes back, cooks supper AND washes up. Preferably whilst making the packed lunches and finding lost P.E. kits. When that’s your culinary reality I can assure you that a slightly dry burger and a pile of greasy chips begins to assume Michelin Star properties.

As for the morning after… is there anything better than a hotel breakfast? The delicious indecision: should you order room service, or pop downstairs with the paper and your room key, roaming the buffet like a lion circling gazelle? The extravagance of ordering brown AND white toast, and the slight gastronomic confusion that comes from eating slices of cheese and salami this early in the morning. Charcuterie for breakfast! How terribly European! Rice Krispies and a Nescafe at your kitchen table are never going to compare. As someone who - when at home - is abruptly dragged from slumber by arguments about who finished the orange juice and do-we-really-have-to-clean-our-teeth, the polite deference of a hotel I-do-hope-you-enjoyed-your-stay is sheer bliss. In fact, there’s only one thing lovelier than a trip away, and that’s the welcome I get when I come home.

Follow Clare on Twitter! @claremackint0sh

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search