I love traditional hotels because they make me feel cosy and at home. However, I resolved that staying somewhere modern would not have killed me for once, especially considering that my travelling companion likes post-modernism and minimalism. So I booked us at the Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge, situated in Sloane Street and overlooking fabulous boutiques and pretty townhouses. I wish I had stuck to my original plan and had diverted us to the Parkes Hotel, one of the best of the best I've ever had the pleasure to spend time at.
Upon check-in, I decided I could live with the extra dingy, extra tired-looking room, with an old television set, antiquated air conditioning (set at 21C, which truly begs the question... why?) and with a corridor temperature that skimmed sauna levels. One doesn't sit in a corridor after all so who cares, right? Later, I also decided to live with bathrobes that took two phone calls and 45 minutes to materialise themselves and with truly abysmal mini-bar and toiletries selections. I closed both eyes on a limp buffet breakfast with skinned clementines but no strawberries (considering the former are out of season and the latter are in season, one has to wonder with which criteria these people draw menus up), and even, shame on me, with a non-negotiable tip of £ 4.90 added to ‘included breakfast’ upon check-out. However, the icing on the cake was poured when the concierge kindly offered my travelling companion to store her chocolates in the fridge behind the bar, ready for collection with our stored bags upon our return late in the afternoon.
I don't need to tell you that the chocolates never materialised themselves, because you've probably already figured it out. I can only guess that an over-zealous hotel employee thought the better of them and decided to remove temptation just in case. This is, after all, a £ 265 a day hotel, they take good care of their guests. I blame the chocolates you see. Last September, a friend sent me a huge box for my birthday. As I was not in, this was delivered to the people who live opposite me, but the courier never left me a card. When I started enquiring about these (or better, when my friend enquired about them to me), it took five minutes to find out that they had been delivered two days before and that the idiots opposite me decided to eat them on the basis that they did not know who the addressee was. Never mind that it takes seconds to cross the street and perhaps ask, just like I did when I was told that so-and-so had signed for them. I have started to grow weary of La Maison Du Chocolat... they seem to bring disaster upon those who come dangerously close to them. And considering that I saw King Tut only yesterday, I am inclined to believe that it's all down to a curse, rather than to incredibly rude imbeciles. Of course it is. It is. I said it is.