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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Living above my expectations

The Paris Hilton was the most self-evidently luxurious hotel I've ever stayed at. I felt I could have dialled a number for any louche delight. But then for free I had the view. Someone else was paying.

Tall Trees Country House in the village of Landyrnog, five miles from Ruthin, not far from Wrexham - in North Wales dog-blast-it - is hard to find and also luxurious. The knob on the puller-switch in our bathroom was an elegant slender cylinder of stainless steel. It may have cost £10 - £15. Factor up and you get the idea.

The mirror cupboard in the bathroom included tooth-brushes, tooth paste, shaving soap, etc. No need to load down the family Rolls with all that travelling clobber.

I never saw the outdoor (heated!) pool or the antique billiard table but didn't feel deprived. Only so much luxury may be conveyed via artefacts, the rest depends on service.

Susan, the welcoming lady of the house, shook my hand and asked if I wanted tea or coffee. I refused gracefully. "How about a gin-and-tonic, then?" That was different - I didn't care if it was added to the bill (it wasn't); there is a tide in the affairs of man when a G&T is all we'll ever want. VR and I drank ours in what seemed like our personal lounge; other lounges were available.

The breakfast eggs were poached, the sausages were up to Hereford level (ie, stratospheric). I won't go on; my aim here is to spread sweetness and light, not envy and dissension.

The carpet of south-west France at three thousand feet. Clumps of trees like tight green sponge, orange roof tiles, cars idling along narrow roads like iridescent beetles.


  1. A contrast with the place we stayed in at Denbigh for nearly the same price. When we asked for a taxi a bit of paper was thrust in our hands with a phone number - do it yourself. So many service providers see such a request as a chore rather than a gifted opportunity to demonstrate their advertised attributes.

    I need no tide to sweep me up for a g-and-t.

    Out of Arizona - that's better than a sharp image from my Panasonic TZ40 any day.

  2. Can't comment on the luxury bit, and can't do better than Conrad on the compliment about your OoA paragraph - superb description entered my brain as words where - because of your skill - it was instantly converted to hi-def video.

  3. Sir Hugh: We may sneak back for a night at Tall Trees just before Christmas.

    Crow: Landscape descriptions are not really my forte. But occasionally they're necessary as a change of pace. Glad it worked.